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Description - The Politics of Aid by Lindsay Whitfield

This book presents an original approach to understanding the relationship between official aid agencies and aid-receiving African governments. The first part provides a challenge to the hazy official claims of aid donors that they have stopped trying to force African governments to do what 'we' think is best for 'them' and instead are now promoting African 'ownership' of the policies and projects which foreign aid supports. The authors tease out the multiple meanings of the term 'ownership', demonstrating why it became popular when it did, but also the limits to this discourse of ownership observed in aid practices. The authors set out to defend a particular vision of ownership-one that involves African governments taking back control of their development policies and priorities. Based largely on interviews with the people who do the negotiating on both sides of the aid relationship, the country case studies put the rhetoric of the new aid system to a more practical test. The authors ask how donors seek to achieve their policy objectives without being seen to push too hard, what preconditions they place on transferring authority to African governments, and what effect the constant discussions over development policy have on state institutions, democracy and political culture in recipient countries. It investigates the strategies that African states have adopted to advance their objectives in aid negotiations and how successful their efforts have been. Comparing the country experiences, it points out the conditions accounting for the varying success of eight African countries: Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia. It concludes by asking whether the conditions African countries face in aid negotiations are changing.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780199560172
ISBN-10: 019956017X
Format: Hardback
(242mm x 163mm x 30mm)
Pages: 422
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 27-Nov-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Lindsay Whitfield

Lindsay Whitfield is a Research Fellow at the Global Economic Governance Programme, University of Oxford. She completed her doctorate in 2005 in Politics at the University of Oxford. She holds an M.Phil. in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA). Her research focuses on the intersection between African politics and foreign aid. She has written several articles on foreign aid in Ghana and is writing a book on economic development and the politics of foreign aid in Ghana. She has also co-edited and contributed to Turning Points? The Politics of African States in the Era of Democratization (James Currey, forthcoming).

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