The changing landscape of the global political economy and foreign aid: has the Cold War ended? (Anthropology of International Governance Network)

Ela Drazkiewicz (Maynooth University)
Patty Gray (Maynooth University)
Alessandro Iandolo (London School of Economic and Political Science)
Start time:
2 August, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel aims to counter the existing debates on 'new donors' which by ignoring the Cold War history of development are facilitating the reformulation of mainstream discourses of development. What are the chances for 'non-traditional' donors to include their perspectives in the global governance?

Long abstract:

This panel deals with the contemporary changing landscape of the global political economy and foreign aid, and explores the fuzzy boundaries between national and international governance and the tension in the ethical and practical motivations of global, national and local actors. The existence and wide usage of categories such as 'traditional' vs. 'new' donors - coinciding not only with the distribution of power in the colonial era and Cold War divisions, but also with the existing world division - reveals the dominant position of Western actors and the ongoing naturalisation of their activities. By the persuasive naturalisation of their own 'traditional' presence in development, and by questioning the practices of 'emerging donors', these 'established' actors have set the tone for the existing debates about development. Even though the history of development is rooted in the rivalry between the First and the Second World, this past has largely been neglected. The dismissal of the past has strong political implications facilitating reformulation of mainstream development discourses and changes in the modes of global governance. For that reasons, this panel has a twofold aim. First, we invite papers aiming to counter the existing debates ignoring the 50-year Cold War history of development, and investigating the past involvement of non-Western donors in international development. Secondly we are looking for presentations which though historically motivated, are asking the question about the contemporary possibilities for 'non-traditional' donors (including private agencies/foundations) for including their national and other perspectives in the current mainstream debates about development.