DSA2018: Global inequalities
This panel explores whether and how donor interventions reflecting the securitization of development reduce or exacerbate global inequalities. Further, it examines whether short-term aid programmes undermine sustainability at the expense of donors' security priorities.
Western countries have over the past two decades increasingly linked global development with their own national interests and security outcomes in their discourse (Duffield, 2002). This discourse has been shown to affect donors' aid distribution patterns, primarily by inspiring an increased provision of aid to directly conflict-related activities at the expense of aid aimed at addressing the root causes of conflicts (Petrikova and Lazell, 2017; Spears, 2016).
The aim of this panel is to examine whether and how donor interventions in developing countries that reflect the securitization of development reduce or exacerbate global inequalities, economic as well as gender and horizontal (ethnic, racial…) in aid-recipient countries. Existing evidence suggests that aid initiatives focused on donors' national security priorities tend to be geared predominantly towards short-term goals and hence may undermine the sustainability of development outcomes and potentially worsen existing inequalities. At the same time, their explicit aims sometimes include the reconciliation or amelioration of existing inequalities and thus might actually lessen them.
This panel seeks contributions that explore the links between donors' security interests and existing inequalities within aid-recipient countries as well as the effects of donors' securitized aid programming specifically and securitized understanding of development more generally on recipients' sustainable development outcomes and existing inequalities, whether theoretically or through empirical studies. We also welcome articles investigating the policy making processes and institutional mechanisms underlying donors' decisions to link development programming with national security interests and the integration of security-inspired development decisions and strategies with programming focused on addressing inequalities.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
On the Capacity of the States to Impact Inequality at the Subnational Level: The Case of Latin America
In this paper, I analyze the effect of interventions of international donors on subnational state capacity building in the context of a newly decentralized country: the Democratic Republic of Congo.
International donors support decentralization to increase the autonomy of subnational governments and to increase their capacity and responsiveness towards the population (Dickovick, 2014). However, it seems that most of the aid programs tend to deal mainly with the governments at the national level, thus reducing the capacity of the newly-created subnational units. This paper aims to empirically measure up to what degree international donors have supported the development of the sub-national governments in the DRC after the découpage process that took place in 2016. To test this hypothesis, GIS analysis at the national level and case-study of the provinces that compose the former Katanga province are used.
Development Aid as a Tool of German Foreign Policy
The paper focuses on Germany as the second largest individual aid donor and role of development cooperation in realization of economy- and security-related goals of German foreign policy.
Since the 1950s development aid has been long regarded as a tool of foreign policy that enabled donors to exercise power over developing countries. Recently development assistance and development cooperation have also been analysed within the context of economic diplomacy. Therefore the aim of the paper is to present development assistance as a tool of foreign policy and economic diplomacy. The paper focuses on Germany as the second largest individual aid donor and role of development cooperation in German foreign policy. The paper is divided into three major sections, which consecutively present aid as a tool of foreign policy and economic diplomacy, history and institutional arrangements of German development cooperation, as well as role of aid in German economic diplomacy.
EU civil society funding and conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa - lessons from Algeria
This paper examines international donors, the EU in particular, in conflict affected countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It explores the impact of donor funding on local civil society in three different countries, arguing that lower donor budgets have given more promising results.
How have international donors such as the EU supported civil society in conflict affected countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) since the early 1990s? Which mechanisms do they use, how have these evolved and how inconsistent are the approaches? The shifting paradigms in development policy are examined through a study of recent debates, exploring the reasons behind the EU's drive to invest resources in developing civil society in different regions. The chapter analyses EU exceptionalism in countries of the MENA region and in Algeria in particular, in its co-operation agreements and discourses. It examines the tools used by the EU to support civil society in Algeria, comparing them with interventions in Palestine and in Lebanon where in a number of cases EU support has exacerbated tensions and conflict on the ground. Finally, it introduces the paradox, that the more modest EU budget for civil society in Algeria may have generated in fact more promising results, than in other countries in the region.
Foreign Aid to respond to immigration concerns: does more aid reduce irregular migration flows to Italy?
This research investigates whether aid is an effective tool to curb irregular migration flows to Europe's borders. Estimates suggest that, while there is a negative association between aid and irregular inflows, ODA is a less than efficient tool to respond to donors' migration control concerns.
Irregular migration has been increasingly linked to national security priorities by European countries. To respond to their immigration concerns, donors are resorting to foreign aid as a tool to replace migration from developing countries. This research investigates whether aid is effective at curbing irregular flows to Italy, a key border country.
Drawing on the migration hump theoretical framework, I estimate the determinants of inflows between 2002 and 2015. I find evidence of a negative association with aggregate Official Development Assistance (ODA) as well as Governance Aid for lower-income origin countries. I also find that Humanitarian Aid is associated with smaller inflows from countries with income levels above 3,990 USD. The results confirm the dominant effect of total over bilateral ODA, highlighting the negligible impact of Italy as an individual donor on migration to itself. The results also contribute with clarifying conflicting evidence in literature: it is the migrants' network, rather than bilateral aid, that exerts a positive attraction effect.
While the research provides some support to the negative association between aid and irregular migration, it also suggests that it is a less than efficient tool to deliver migration control objectives. Estimates indicate that additional 250,000 USD should have been disbursed per each "prevented migrant" to stem flows from Nigeria, the top sending country in 2015. That translates into a threefold increase of current overall disbursement. Thus, donors should consider whether the expected outcomes justify the investment, which is likely to be to the detriment of other development goals.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.