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Abstract

This article traces the use of the term ‘technocratic’ to describe development practice, and the concomitant use of ‘technocrat’ to describe professional experts who engage in development work. It locates the use of these terms as pejorative labels within understandings of professional experts as part of an apparatus of governmentality that depoliticizes development intervention. It argues, however, that such understandings miss the crucial point of engagement in development practice between these agents and other actors which opens ‘learning spaces’ that have the potential for a range of outcomes.