DSA2018: Global inequalities
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.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Brazil and FAO: foreign policy, development cooperation and policy diffusion
Departing from a theoretical reflection regarding foreign policy as a trigger of policy diffusion, the paper analysis the reasons that made FAO a centerpiece in Brazilian international strategies and asks how FAO's agenda was shaped by Brazilian actors, ideas and policies
Brazilian foreign policy during the nearly fourteen years that the Worker's Party ruled the country (2003-2016) made the country a well-known and admired provider of development cooperation, which was regarded domestically as an important instrument in the building of so-called South-South coalitions. Brazilian policy innovations in several areas, including both tropical agriculture and poverty and hunger overcoming, became not only means to promote inclusive growth at home, but were also used to reshape the country's international image, to fuel development cooperation and to further other Brazilian interests in the international system. Departing from a theoretical reflection regarding foreign policy and development cooperation as triggers of policy diffusion, the paper has two main objectives: (a) to analyze the reasons that made FAO a centerpiece in Brazilian international strategies during both Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff's administrations, and (b) to discuss how FAO's agenda was shaped by Brazilian actors, ideas and policies. We are interested in both the role played by policy diffusion in Brazilian foreign policy, i.e., in the building of the country as a successful policy exporter, which made FAO an instrument and a partner, and in discussing the extent to which it is possible to say that the country's foreign policy activism led to the "Brazilianization" of FAO, both before and after the election of José Graziano da Silva as its Director-General.
Interrogating Emerging Donors: Institutions, actors, and new forms of donorship
The increasing importance of new/emerging state and non-state actors has received attention over the last decade.This paper explores how state actors and non-state actors have interacted in shaping the field of development cooperation and identifies some of the challenges raised by this interaction.
This paper analyses the nature of the emerging donors in the field of international development cooperation and identifies Korea as "hybrid state donor" that maintains characteristics associated with both traditional and non-traditional donors. Development cooperation by emerging state and non-state donor actors have increased in recent years and have thus drawn scholarly attention. The new actors are increasingly taking a more important role in the international development field with the need of alternative sources of financing for development and the desire for new partners for development assistance. However, these actors may present challenges to the existing international aid architecture by introducing different priorities that often clash with traditional donors' priorities. To examine Korea's hybrid position as an emerging donor, I look at how both state and non-state actors have interacted with each other in Korean development cooperation initiatives. This paper finds that an analysis of private sector cooperation in Korean ODA may be useful for highlighting some of the ways in which private firms have been used to strategically extend global value chains. As such, it can help us better understand how actors involved in Korean ODA and in other hybrid donor contexts negotiate competing pressures to adhere to normative claims and create strategic business opportunities.
Labor Rights in the Wake of New Labor Governance: The Case of Garment Industry Workers in Bangladesh
How labor rights can be ensured in an industrial sector which has from the very beginning enjoyed the benefits of neo-liberal policies? How are new regimes of governance affecting the day to day lives of the workers on the shop floor? The proposed paper intends to address these questions.
When it comes to garments production, a new labor governance has been in operation in recent years in Bangladesh. This labor governance is being promoted by different international donors and stakeholders in garment production. Such governance structures often sidesteps the government initiatives of the country. On the one hand you have the government's regulatory bodies and mechanisms of the state, often seen as processes which are slow, lacking resources, effectiveness and often filled with rampant corruption. On the other hand we see the unfolding of what I shall call the transnational regimes of governance which can exert more power because it has made Western retailers and brands party to this governance mechanism. The set of questions I would like to engage with in this paper is how labor rights can be ensured in an industrial sector which has from the very beginning enjoyed the benefits of neo-liberal policies? What is the current situation of labor organization at the factory level? How are new regimes of governance (The Bangladesh Accord for example or Rana Plaza Arrangement) affecting the day to day lives of the workers on the shop floor, when it comes to remediation or compensation?
Why should you criticise your 'motherland' to foreigners?: the dilemma of critical scholarship and self-censorship in analysing Korea's foreign aid as a national(istic) project
This paper has been written as part of a book project on South-South development cooperation and the politics of knowledge production, led by Dr Emma Mawdsley, Dr Elsje Fourie and Dr Wiebe Nauta.
Even though researchers are not obliged to act as national agents, such pressure is not totally absent. This has tended to create an additional dimension of technical and moral challenges in researching South Korean aid policy. Taking a critical approach to Seoul's donor policy, I found that the political sensitivity was heightened by the fact that foreign aid in Korea (as in many other countries) is closely related to the country's nationalistic, status-seeking aspirations vis-à-vis external audiences. Domestically, I also observed that Korea's burgeoning aid community seemed heavily reliant on government funding and policy narratives in close linkage with the oscillating preferences of the top political leadership. In the highly politicised policy space of Korean foreign aid, it seemed, when the nation's 'face' is an important policy objective, internal criticisms and contestations are expected to be more or less contained domestically and muted towards the outside, limiting the space of critical scholarship. As a junior researcher, my need to maintain good relations with Korean elite interviewees in the government and academia (who could be potential employers and funders of my future research) also complicated the dilemma. This paper critically reflects on the challenges and ambivalences I experienced as a Korean, female, junior researcher, during my PhD fieldwork at the Paris-based OECD, Busan and Seoul between 2011 and 2013, as I interviewed about 30 foreign diplomats and aid experts, and 50 Korean aid bureaucrats, researchers and NGOs.
Unfolding multiple realities of participation: The case of Korea's state-NGO project partnership in Cambodia
This paper explores the interactive processes through which actors with different interests, knowledge and capabilities converge and struggle to negotiate the meanings of participation.
This paper draws on research in rural Cambodia designed to address the question of how ideals and practices of participation are negotiated through different tiers of the aid chain. Participation in development has been an especially appealing concept for those who seek to rebalance power away from outside professional 'experts'; it meant bringing forward methods that involve 'local' people in interventions over which they previously had limited control. Arguing that such a popular belief risks treating multiple realities of participation as if they were frozen in time and space (Cleaver, 1999; Cornwall & Brock, 2005; Cooke & Kothari, 2001; Williams, 2004), this paper seeks to move beyond the somewhat idealised accounts of how participation is imagined, framed, and practiced.
The context is provided by the experience of a donor-funded water project in Cambodia, which is implemented by a Korean development NGO in 'partnership' with Korea's government aid agency. Using a combination of participant observation and qualitative interviews, this paper traces the myriad interpretations, interests, and experiences of participation across all parts of the aid chain. The findings indicate a significant disjuncture between participatory rhetoric and reality. Central to this disjuncture, the paper argues, is each actor's exercise of power over the representation and legitimacy. This paper concludes that the realisation of claims made on behalf of participatory development requires addressing more directly the political nature of relationships between group and individual identities. It calls for change in Korean 'development community', where a consideration of power remains unattended to.
Development cooperation as Corporate Social Responsibility: The Case of South Korean Chaebols in international development
This article examines the role of Korea's large, family-led conglomerates (chaebol) in the international development sector.
Since the early 1990s, member states of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) have increasingly outsourced the provision of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the private sector. However, the inclusion of for-profit companies with little history of involvement in the development sector is a relatively recent phenomenon. The traditional DAC donors and multilateral organisations such as the United Nations (UN) now rely on a range of private companies for pooling funds as well as the execution of development-related services.
On a multilateral forum the renewed support for the private sector in international development was officially accepted in the 2010 UN Millennium Summit and affirmed in the 2011 Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. While these platforms established an enhanced role for the private sector of the DAC members only , non-traditional donors have been also engineered their development cooperation models around their respective private sectors
South Korea's new and evolving ODA model has used the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to link the role of private companies to international development. Analysing the roots and history of CSR in South Korea and the nature of its application by Korean private companies in developing countries we address the changing role of development assistance in internationalising the Korean state and Korean capital.
We argue that one way of analysing the Korean state's embedding of CSR into the framework of international development is to understand the changing nature of Korea's Global Value Chains (GVC)s in developing countries.
East Asia's 'Developmentalist' Cooperation and its Discontents
The rise of emerging East Asian donor countries is encouraging Japan to reposition itself to follow the practice of South-South cooperation, relying on the use of PPPs. The way development cooperation is taking such shape in East Asia is indicative of the region's developmentalist tradition.
This paper examines the changing aid narrative that revives the old ties between foreign aid and national commercial interest in East Asia. Such trends may be unfolding globally, but East Asian donor countries are particularly receptive to this shift due to the historical trajectories of state-centric development experiences. Here emerging donors' South-South cooperation built on the spirit of solidarity combines with East Asia's mercantilist approaches to produce a form of East-South alliance that emphasises mutually beneficial horizontal partnerships and the state's role in promoting trade, investment, and development cooperation as a package. The advent of the SDGs facilitates this trend by recognising the greater role of business in development cooperation. The notion of development is being reframed as inclusive of conventional business activities while business itself is arguably being reframed as an act of development through creating 'shared value'. In this context, the effectiveness of aid is associated with its role as a 'catalyst' in promoting private sector investment by donor countries' domestic industries. The idea of Public Private Partnerships thus takes on a new meaning in that it allows governments to provide risk-sharing mechanisms to private corporations in the form of construction subsidies and/or minimum revenue guarantees. The paper argues that the fact that development cooperation is guided in this way is indicative of the region's developmentalist and state-corporatist approaches. It amounts to a renaissance of a development paradigm that is being recalibrated as East Asian donors find a common ground in 'developmentist' cooperation.
Queering development? The unsettling geographies of South-South Cooperation
This paper uses Queer Theory to explore South-South Cooperation, focussing on its transgressive implications; but also the (re)inscription of racialised, gendered and sexualised imageries and identities.
This paper deploys queer theory as a way of approaching South-South
Development Cooperation (SSDC). SSDC is profoundly unsettling the
long-standing normative spatialities, imaginaries and identities
(re)produced through the mainstream international development regime.
The post-colonial order of who ‘does’ development to whom has been
transgressed by countries that refuse (discursively at least) co-option
into the hegemonic donor community and its long-standing taxonomies.
Southern development partners are not just up-ending this order, but
presenting themselves in fluid ways, enrolling different identities and
attributes in different places and to different audiences. However, a
queer perspective also reveals the (re)inscription of gendered,
sexualised and racialized solidarities and hierarchies through the
relationships, intimacies and practices of SSDC. Here, queer theory
provides novel insights into the fracturing Eurocentrism of
international development, while resisting an uncritical championing of
SSDC as a post-political and benign alignment of shared Southern
identities and interests. The paper concludes by examining the trend
towards more masculinist performances and ‘fixity’ amongst key Southern
development partners, with some diminishment of the fluid and collective
languages and identities of recent years.
Rendering invisible?: Japan's ODA in Mekong and 'donorisation' of Thailand
The paper examines hows and whys of Japan's strong support for South-South Cooperation in Southeast Asia. It does so by exploring how such assistance is historically linked to Japan's efforts to render its ODA 'invisible' with a focus of its assistance for 'donor-isation' of Thailand.
Japan's efforts to support and to scale up/strengthen South-South development cooperation (SSDC) is not entirely a new topic of study (Trinidad 2014 ; Hosono 2015). Yet, what is relatively understudied is hows and whys of Japan's strong support for SSDC - particularly, when compared with its fellow donors. This particular trait becomes more curious when we consider how such support then historically has been linked to the donor's struggle to render its ODA 'faceless' in its key Southeast Asian recipients with the records of violent anti-Japanese riots.
Therefore, the study aims to address this knowledge gap by reviewing Japan's past engagement with Thailand's SSDC in Mekong via its own bi-/tri and multi-lateral efforts. In doing so, the paper will provide an in-depth analysis of hows and whys of Japan's strong support for SSDC with a case study of its assistance aimed for 'donorisation(donā-ka)' of Thailand. It enables us to understand rendering its ODA invisible not simply as an exclusive process of/by Japan but as a mutual process shaped by both Japan and Thailand and riddled with complexity.
Triangular Cooperation for Disaster Risk Reduction: the Case of Japan, Chile, and Latin America
The paper explores ethnographically how and to what extent the triangular cooperation scheme around disaster risk reduction between Japan, Chile, and Latin American recipient countries offers an equitable approach, and for whom.
Triangular cooperation has gained prominence in recent years as a way for 'traditional' donors, 'emerging' donors, and recipient countries to work together in a new configuration of aid that is seen to be more equitable. Japan is one 'traditional' donor country that has placed triangular cooperation at the centre of its development cooperation policies. This paper focuses on the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Training Program for Latin America and the Caribbean ('the KIZUNA Project') between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Chilean International Cooperation Agency (AGCI), which aims to train about 2000 policymakers and DRR experts across Latin America in the five years between 2015 and 2020. Using an ethnographic perspective, it examines how and to what extent this mode of cooperation offers an equitable process, and for whom. Tracing the multiple streams beyond the KIZUNA Project through which JICA and Chilean counterparts have, over the years, developed knowledge-sharing programmes around disaster preparedness, the paper explores how questions of equity, management, and development converge and diverge in this 'alternative' form of cooperation.
Anxieties of the emerging donor: The Korean development experience and the politics of international development cooperation
This article examines recent knowledge sharing initiatives aimed at promoting South Korea's development experience as a 'development alternative', and questions the coherence of the narratives being shared.
This article examines recent knowledge sharing initiatives aimed at promoting South Korea's development experience as a 'development alternative', and questions the coherence of the narratives being shared. Through interviews with development practitioners and interrogation of policy narratives, I examine how South Korea's development cooperation initiatives occupy a 'zone of awkward engagement.' This is a zone that has been produced by pressures for Korea to export a version of the developmental state model, extend the overseas activities of domestic businesses, and entertain the ambitions of ruling political blocs. By examining how practitioners navigate these pressures and the anxieties it creates for them, the article highlights some of the limits and possibilities that shape the promotion of the developmental state as an alternative development model and questions discursive claims of emerging donors and South-South cooperation that privilege empathy and reciprocity as drivers of development cooperation.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.