Drawing upon qualitative interviews, this article narrates some central controversies and conflicts that scholars in the field of ‘development’ face in their daily work. Based on how such conflicts and controversies have been reconstructed, I place them in a discourse on transdisciplinarity, drawing into question the claims to authority and novelty around the term ‘transdisciplinarity’ that Western institutions have attributed to themselves in recent years. I also address the question of collaboration: How can transdisciplinary projects deal with the fact of pluralism, on the one hand, and the necessity to work towards shared problem definitions, and strategies, on the other hand? In this context, I make a case against transdisciplinarity’s oft-cited conceptions of harmony, comprehensiveness, totality, and unity; and a case for conflict, compromise, partiality, and joint contextual strategies.The “art of deliberation” thus replaces the notion of transcendence as a central competence of transdisciplinary scholars.
Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)
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