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Transcending the great foreign aid debate: managerialism, radicalism and the search for aid effectiveness

Gulrajani, Nilima (2011) Transcending the great foreign aid debate: managerialism, radicalism and the search for aid effectiveness. Third World Quarterly, 32 (2). pp. 199-216. ISSN 0143-6597

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01436597.2011.560465


The Great Aid Debate pits those who are radically opposed to foreign aid against those who champion its reform to achieve greater aid effectiveness. This paper offers an analysis of this debate by introducing a heuristic distinction between aid 'radicals' and aid 'reformers'. The radical position is notable as it uncharacteristically unites neo-liberals and neo-Marxists against foreign aid, while reformers espouse the tenets of managerialism as an ideological and practical vehicle for aid's improvement. Radicals remain skeptical and suspicious of reformist managerial utopias, while aid reformers see little value to radical nihilism. This paper calls for an end to the Great Aid Debate by moving to a discussion of foreign aid that intertwines both radical and reformist perspectives. The 'radical reform' of foreign aid is both desirable and achievable so long as aid is re-theorized as a contested, commonsensical, contingent and civically oriented endeavor.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 Third World Quarterly
Divisions: Government
International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Departments > Government
Departments > International Relations
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2010 11:42
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 02:08

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