The Anti-Politics of Development: donor agencies and the political economy of governance

Wil Hout , ISS

This article discusses the attempt undertaken by several development aid agencies since the turn of the century to integrate political economy assessments into their decision making on development assistance. The article discusses three such attempts: the Drivers of Change adopted by the UK’s Department for International Development, the Strategic Governance and Corruption Analysis (SGACA) developed by the Dutch Directorate General for International Cooperation and the new thinking on political economy analysis, policy reform and political risk advanced by the World Bank. On the basis of a political-economic interpretation of development agencies, two main factors are found to hinder the successful application of political economy assessment. In the first place, the agencies’ professional outlook leads them to see development in primarily technical terms. In the second place, the nature of incentives for development professionals leads them to resist the implementation of political economy analyses.

About the speaker
Wil Hout is Professor of Governance and International Political Economy. He teaches mainly in the areas of international politics, global governance and research methodology. He is the coordinator of the MPA in Governance in Suriname (offered in partnership with the F.H.R. Lim A Po Institute for Social Studies in Paramaribo), and of the Transatlantic Double Degree in International Security and Development Policy (offered with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, USA, and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin). His research interests focus on the role of developing countries in the international political economy, issues of governance in development, and development assistance policies. He served as Deputy Rector for Academic Affairs from January 2007 until March 2011.Before joining ISS, he held appointments as (senior) lecturer in international relations at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Leiden University and the University of Nijmegen.

Venue: Conference Room

Date: 19 June 2012

Time: 11:30 - 12:30


UNU-MERIT