Neoliberalism, Development, and Aid Volunteering

By Nichole Georgeou

© 2012 – Routledge

240 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415629706
pub: 2014-06-02
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415809153
pub: 2012-07-26
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

This work comes at an important time of global crisis and change, where the world is ravaged by natural disasters, wars and poverty. This has increased the pressure on governments and other organisations, such as volunteer sending agencies, which provide aid, and we have seen an upward trend in the number of people volunteering abroad. Within this volatile environment, neoliberal ideology on how aid should be provided and implemented has become embedded in how policy is formulated. A market-driven model of aid provision has become the norm, and governments are increasingly focused on international development volunteering as a form of ‘soft diplomacy’.

This is the first qualitative empirical study of international development volunteering. The book contributes theoretical knowledge on International Volunteering Sending Agencies (IVSAs) and examines practitioner experience in development volunteering in the context of emerging policy developments. Critical analysis highlights the impact of global and social changes and provides a nuanced understanding of development volunteer motivation, and the relationship between volunteers and sending agencies. The book also puts forward an agenda and model for volunteer sending that addresses the complexities and diversity of the volunteer experience.


"Neoliberalism, Development, and Aid Volunteering is an enormously complex text, an interdisciplinary blend of history, politics, sociology, social anthropology, and ethnography. At times the author reaches back to the 18th century to understand the philosophical, economic and political roots of the contemporary/current situation she explores. Georgeou lays out her case and develops her account with nuanced scholarship. That said, she avoids the coded and cold impenetrability of much academic writing, and her work is at once scholarly, personal, and accessible to non-specialists."Rowan J. Cahill, University of Wollongong

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. A Contested Field: Conceptualising Development Volunteering 2. Historical and Theoretical Background 3. Neoliberal Development Paradigm: Social and Political Impacts on Australian IVSAs 4. Linking Voices and Experiences to Theory: Palms Australia, Its Volunteers and Their Context 5. Motivation: Altruistic and Egoistic Desire 6. Interpretations and Expectations 7. Whose Partnership Is It? Unpacking "Mutually Equitable Partnership" 8. Networking Home 9. Conclusions and Recommendations

About the Author

Nichole Georgeou is based at the University of Wollongong.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Development and Society

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Volunteer Work
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries