Econ07
Towards new hegemonies? The role of new actors in African development cooperation

Convenors:
Mario Zamponi (University of Bologna)
Discussant:
Davide Chinigò (Stellenbosch University)
Stream:
Economy and Development
Location:
50 George Square, G.05
Sessions:
Friday 14 June, 8:45-10:15, 10:45-12:15

Short abstract:

African history and politics are profoundly interconnected with international development cooperation. Recent years have seen the emergence of new actors, raising questions about future trajectories of change. The panel explores the most recent transformations in development cooperation to Africa.

Long abstract:

African history and politics are strongly interconnected with international cooperation and development aid. After the Second World War initiatives took place in the context of the Cold War, reflecting political priorities of the two Blocs. In recent years transformations have taken place within a new global framework. We have seen the continuation of historical connections, particularly with Western donors. At the same time the emergence of non-state actors - such as religious and philantropic organizations, social enterprises, and private corporations - and of new global powers - the BRICS, other emerging economies, and countries with specific economic interests in Africa - have established new paradigms. While in rapid evolution, this new context needs careful reappraisal. Principles, practices, and priorities governing development organizations are highly contested in the way they intersect with African countries' agendas and hence require new assessment. Within this framework, this panel aims to explore transformations in policies and practices of international development cooperation towards Africa, where new emerging economic powers and new development organizations are challenging the traditional North-South aid paradigm. Both traditional donors and new development actors carry with them specific cultures, histories and agendas, which influence the ways they operate, and the ways in which initiatives confront African aspirations and demands. This delineates a wide range of possible changes, connections, and disruptions: from a win-win scenario to a new model of international hegemony. The panel seeks conceptually inspired contributions and new empirical work exploring the most recent transformations in international development cooperation towards Africa.