This session interrogates the 'alternative' nature of emerging donors and South-South development cooperation. We highlight new research from variety of inter-disciplinary perspectives, with a focus on intellectual histories, affective registers, conceptual interrogation, and networks of power.
Over the last decade, much attention been cast on emerging donors and South-South cooperation in relation to efforts to tackle global inequalities. Development cooperation by these actors has often been represented as a more equitable, development 'alternative' to mainstream approaches and the aid regimes of traditional donors. These donors themselves often regard their strategies as an alternative to policy advice loosely associated with neoliberalism and the Washington Consensus. Furthermore, in the case of East Asian development cooperation, many recipient countries see in development cooperation an opportunity to learn more about the policies of so-called developmental states, while many former developmental states themselves find an opportunity to extend overseas business activities. This session seeks to interrogate some of these claims and to deepen scholarship on emerging donors by highlighting new research on this topic from variety of inter-disciplinary perspectives. In particular the panel seeks to highlight contributions that examine the intellectual history of emerging donors' development assistance, explore the networks of firms and power relations that shape ODA in non-traditional contexts, interrogate the categories through which such assistance has been understood, and deepen the emotional and affective register, with a focus on practice, that has been used to describe alternative 'models' of development being promoted through South-South cooperation and emerging donorship. We are particularly interested in exploring the case of East Asian donors but are open to papers that examine this issue in other geographical contexts.