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Aid, Democracy, and the Magic Wand of Accountability

Bruhn, Fredrik LU (2012) SIMV29 20121
Graduate School
Abstract
Two trends can be identified within the current development assistance discourse: the pursuit of aid effectiveness, and the support for democratic development, both of which emphasize the importance of accountability. By adopting a critical approach to the ‘buzzword’ accountability, this study explores how a number of bilateral donors conceptualize and understand the notion of accountability in the two contexts of the aid effectiveness paradigm and democracy assistance. By analyzing primary and secondary material, it is found that while in the context of the aid effectiveness paradigm donors adhere to an outcome-oriented view of accountability; perceived as a technocratic and apolitical issue, in the context of democracy assistance,... (More)
Two trends can be identified within the current development assistance discourse: the pursuit of aid effectiveness, and the support for democratic development, both of which emphasize the importance of accountability. By adopting a critical approach to the ‘buzzword’ accountability, this study explores how a number of bilateral donors conceptualize and understand the notion of accountability in the two contexts of the aid effectiveness paradigm and democracy assistance. By analyzing primary and secondary material, it is found that while in the context of the aid effectiveness paradigm donors adhere to an outcome-oriented view of accountability; perceived as a technocratic and apolitical issue, in the context of democracy assistance, accountability is understood in terms of process; closely related to the concepts of voice, participation, and rights. When considered in relation to each other, it is argued that the dissonance between the two might have detrimental implications on the effectiveness of the objectives in respective domain, as well as render donors vulnerable to the critique of inconsistency. Further, the donor approach to their own accountabilities, as well as the consistent failure to recognize the political and power-infused underpinnings of aid, is found to be highly problematic. (Less)
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author
Bruhn, Fredrik LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Effectiveness and (In)consistency in Donor Notions of Accountability in Democracy Assistance and the Aid Discourse
course
SIMV29 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
accountability, democracy assistance, aid effectiveness, democratisation, aid
language
English
id
3046867
date added to LUP
2012-09-04 11:22:03
date last changed
2012-09-04 11:22:03
@misc{3046867,
  abstract     = {Two trends can be identified within the current development assistance discourse: the pursuit of aid effectiveness, and the support for democratic development, both of which emphasize the importance of accountability. By adopting a critical approach to the ‘buzzword’ accountability, this study explores how a number of bilateral donors conceptualize and understand the notion of accountability in the two contexts of the aid effectiveness paradigm and democracy assistance. By analyzing primary and secondary material, it is found that while in the context of the aid effectiveness paradigm donors adhere to an outcome-oriented view of accountability; perceived as a technocratic and apolitical issue, in the context of democracy assistance, accountability is understood in terms of process; closely related to the concepts of voice, participation, and rights. When considered in relation to each other, it is argued that the dissonance between the two might have detrimental implications on the effectiveness of the objectives in respective domain, as well as render donors vulnerable to the critique of inconsistency. Further, the donor approach to their own accountabilities, as well as the consistent failure to recognize the political and power-infused underpinnings of aid, is found to be highly problematic.},
  author       = {Bruhn, Fredrik},
  keyword      = {accountability,democracy assistance,aid effectiveness,democratisation,aid},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Aid, Democracy, and the Magic Wand of Accountability},
  year         = {2012},
}