Buzz from the Beehive
“Empowerment” is a bit like “Treaty partnership”. Just a decade or so ago you would rarely have heard of it.
Since then, its use has burgeoned and its meaning – like the meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi’s three simple clauses – has evolved to be applied to whatever the government wants to validate.
In a book titled Empowerment: The History of a Key Concept in Contemporary Development Discourse, Anne-Emmanuelle Calvès writes:
Since the late 1970s, the term “empowerment” has been liberally applied by academics and aid workers in the English-speaking world, including in social services, social psychology, public health, adult literacy and community development (Simon 1994).
Today the word is even more in vogue and has even entered the worlds of politics and business. From popular psychology to self-help, the infatuation with empowerment in the English-speaking world appears boundless: in 1997 there was even a book published in the United States on “self-empowerment” for dogs (Wise 2005).
This infatuation no doubt has infected the mindset of members of the Ardern ministerial team, because we noted this headline on one of the latest press statements posted on the Beehive website – Continue reading “Empowerment and partnership – both concepts come into the considerations of Ardern’s Treaty-sensitive government”