This thesis is a discursive analysis of the performance of ‘stakeholder participation’ in ‘the World Bank Participation Sourcebook’ (1996). Stakeholder participation is defined as ‘a process through which stakeholders influence and share control over development initiatives and the decisions and resources which affect them’ (ibid: 3). With empirical data taken primarily from three case studies presented in ‘the Sourcebook’, this thesis identifies the various ways in which stakeholder participation is managed when transformed into practice. An important premise of these case studies is the perceived ‘bipolarity’ of government and direct beneficiaries as opposing stakeholders. Whereas the participation of government representatives is explained as a required necessity, Bank task managers utilize different ‘levelling techniques’ in order to increase the visibility and participation of weaker, marginalized groups. However, the technically orientated rational of the World Bank creates effects that arrange the content of participatory processes. I have also identified a number of ‘translations’ that further demonstrate how participatory processes are constrained. I argue that how stakeholder participation is translated into practice in effect limits rather than emphasizes its primary definition. I have also utilized Foucault’s notion of ‘governmentality’ to explain the rationality of stakeholder participation as a form of government. By approaching stakeholder participation as an ‘organized practice’, I illuminate the World Bank’s field of vision and the technical aspects it depends on. I also discuss what kind of knowledge or rationality that informs stakeholder participation as a practice. I argue that how stakeholder participation is practiced is the result of tensions between two opposing ideas of how to approach development; stakeholders are in different ways included in participatory processes, but their participation is arranged in ways that produces results that benefit the operational demands of the World Bank. Accordingly, I view the examples of stakeholder participation as presented in ‘the Sourcebook’ as ‘operational participation’, i.e. as participation to the extent that the operational rationality and knowledge of the World Bank allows.