Although global influences – in the form of international finance coupled with discourses of partnership, participation, good governance, and democracy – exercise an increasing influence on national and local governance arrangements worldwide, comparative studies across the traditional South/North divide remain extremely rare. Drawing on findings from a comparative study of Malawi’s PRSP and Ireland’s national Social Partnership process, this article demonstrates that a shifting of conceptual boundaries beyond traditionally delineated geographic borders is not just valid but essential, in that it helps to reveal new perspectives on the politics underlying globalised development processes and the transformative potential of those processes.
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