chapter  3
24 Pages

Development institutions in the sovereign order

Introduction In this chapter we turn our attention to the agencies involved in the project of international development from the end of the Second World War through to the 1970s. The chapter looks at two groups of agencies. The first is the bilateral aid agencies. The most important of these is the United States, but the chapter also examines aid given by the Soviet Union and China. One might be tempted to think that these were mirror images of each other: the superpowers using their aid in competition with one another to influence developing countries. There were, however, very significant differences between the aid programmes of the two superpowers in terms of the way they were institutionalized within their domestic bureaucracies, the ways they related to developing states and the kinds of projects and programmes they funded, and in terms of their size the US aid programme dwarfed that of the Soviet Union. To put it rather bluntly, the United States was ‘doing’ development, whereas the USSR was not. Given the significance of ‘development’ within the hegemonic order constructed by the United States this is unsurprising, but it does provide additional evidence that in many ways the project of international development is an American project. The chapter also looks at a selection of other bilateral donors: Japan, the UK, France and Sweden. There are some similarities between these donors, but also some very significant differences, again in terms of how aid provision was institutionalized domestically, and in terms of which states they give aid to. There are also important changes over time, particularly in the case of Japan, which went from having a small and regionally focused aid programme driven by economic interests to a large and diversified aid programme which provided aid to a significant number of states outside its region.