Governing through developmentality: the politics of international aid reform and the (re)production of power, neoliberalism and neocolonial interventions in Ghana

  • Author / Creator
    Mawuko-Yevugah, Lord
  • The international donor community led by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has in the last decade or so intensified and consolidated its promotion of ‘poverty reduction’ as the central focus of international aid. The two institutions claim that this new approach is radically different from the top-down structural adjustment policies of the preceding two decades. Drawing on the West African state of Ghana, this study interrogates the arguments, policies, practices, evolution and implementation of this new architecture of aid. Drawing on the critical social theory of Michel Foucault and postcolonial scholars, the study concludes that contemporary discourses about, and practices of, poverty reduction in Africa and elsewhere represent an attempt to discursively (re)produce the global South in ways that justify and legitimize Western interventions through the imposition of neoliberal reforms. I interrogate discontinuities and continuities in the new aid and development agenda in order to show that what is produced and maintained through the various interventions is, in fact, the dominance and influence of a neoliberal agenda in Africa’s postcolonies. This hegemony of neoliberal orthodoxy persists despite the rhetoric of a post-Washington Consensus development paradigm, which points to practices of consultation, civil society participation and local ownership as core principles that mark a difference from the earlier paradigm. More fundamentally, I show that, as with earlier structural adjustment policies, the poverty reduction strategy framework can be seen as a governing technology that reinscribes the status quo of western economic power and dominance. I argue that contrary to the claim that the poverty reduction strategy framework alters aid relationships by transferring power and influence from donors to aid recipient countries or even developing an equitable ‘partnership’, there is, in fact, continuity and intensification of disproportionate donor influence and even domination in the development policy making process

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Abdi, Ali (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Harder, Lois (Political Science)
    • Smith, Malinda (Political Science)
    • Aitken, Rob (Political Science)
    • Abrahamsen, Rita (School of International Development & Global Studies, University of Ottawa)
    • Knight, Andy (Political Science)