This dissertation investigates legitimacy processes in the field of international development through an examination of the narrative construction and maintenance of legitimacy (i.e., legitimacy processes) in one international development organization, the United State Peace Corps, over the thirty-five year period from 1977 to 2012. The study builds on research in organizational sociology and development studies in order to improve our understanding of international development and explain the persistence of international development organizations. Drawing on an extensive analysis of a wide range of organizational documents and congressional discourse, I show how the construction and maintenance of legitimacy is a negotiated, and sometimes contested, process that involves a wide range of legitimacy claims. In sum, this study demonstrates the multi-faceted nature of legitimacy, both in terms of the range and types of legitimacy available, as well as the strategies deployed to establish and maintain organizational legitimacy over time.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. November 2013. Major: Sociology. Advisors: Ronald Aminzade, Evan Schofer. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 121 pages.
Missionaries of Modernization and Managers of Myth: Organizational Legitimacy in the Field of International Development.
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