Aid Power and Politics  book cover
1st Edition

Aid Power and Politics

ISBN 9781138341272
Published August 6, 2019 by Routledge
296 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Aid Power and Politics delves into the political roots of aid policy, demonstrating how and why governments across the world use aid for global influence, and exploring the role it plays in present-day global governance and international relations.

In reconsidering aid as part of international relations, the book argues that the interplay between domestic and international development policy works in both directions, with individual countries having the capacity to shape global issues, whilst at the same time, global agreements and trends, in turn, shape the political behaviour of individual countries. Starting with the background of aid policy and international relations, the book goes on to explore the behaviour of both traditional and emerging donors (the US, the UK, the Nordic countries, Japan, Spain, Hungary, Brazil, and the European Union), and then finally looks at some big international agendas which have influenced donors, from the liberal consensus on democracy and good governance, to gender equality and global health.

Aid Power and Politics will be an important read for international development students, researchers, practitioners and policy makers, and for anyone who has ever wondered why it is that countries spend so much money on the well-being of non-citizens outside their borders.

Table of Contents


Iliana Olivié, and Aitor Pérez

Part 1. Aid in the Framework of International Relations Theories

1. The Politics of Aid from the Perspective of International Relations Theories

Bernabé Malacalza

2. Foreign Aid’s Motivations: Theoretical Arguments and Empirical Evidence

Gino N. Pauselli

Part 2. The politics of donors’ aid policies, a country-based approach

3. The U.S. Elite Consensus on Aid

Henry de Cazotte

4. The UK: An Aid Superpower at a Crossroads

Myles Wickstead

5. The Scandinavians: Aid Policy Determinants and Performances

Olav Stokke

6. Japanese Development Assistance: Economic and Political Win-Win Proposals

Marie Söderberg

7. Spain: The Rise and Fall of a Compliant Donor

Iliana Olivié and Aitor Pérez

8. While the Cat’s Away, Will the Mice Play? Government-NGO Relations and the Politics of Aid in Hungary

Krisztina Szabó, Balázs Szent-Iványi and András Tétényi

9. Brazilian Cooperation Policy: Promotion of Development and Global Projection

Guillermo Santander

10. Solidarity and Security in the EU Discourse on Aid

Iliana Olivié and Aitor Pérez

Part 3. Thematic agendas

11. Donorship in a State of Flux

Nilima Gulrajani, and Liam Swiss

12. The International Politics of Aid: ‘Good Governance’ and Democracy Promotion

David Williams

13. Gender Inequality, Aid Agencies, and Global Norms

Lars Engberg-Pedersen

14. Old and New Powers in Development Assistance in Health

Eduardo Missoni and Fabrizio Tediosi

15. ‘We First’ and the Anti-Foreign Aid Narratives of Populist Radical-Right Parties in Europe

Margarita Gómez-Reino

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Iliana Olivié is Senior Analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute, Spain, where she works on global development issues and coordinates the Elcano Global Presence Index. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Applied & Structural Economics & History, Complutense University of Madrid.

Aitor Pérez, economist and political scientist, works as consultant for UN agencies and international NGOs, conducting policy research and evaluation of aid-funded programmes in developing countries. He is also Senior Research Fellow at the Elcano Royal Institute.


"What this volume does very well is fill a gap in the literature by bringing together an analysis of country and thematic policies and putting them firmly in the broader context of foreign policy and international relations. In the process, it improves our understanding of the politics of aid" -- Andy Sumner, King's College London, UK

"This book offers a rich analysis of the domestic and international politics of foreign aid in a range of donor countries and several key crosscutting themes. It makes valuable theoretical and empirical contributions. I learned a lot from its historical perspectives and up-to-date examinations of the rapidly changing aid ecosystem." -- Stephen Brown, School of Political Science, University of Ottawa, Canada