The Global Governance of Development: Development Financing, Good Governance and the Domestication of Poverty

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In this chapter, with these issues firmly in mind, we examine the global governance of the development project – the modern effort to reduce world poverty that began after the end of the Second World War. We pay particular attention to the dominant ideas that have shaped the system and continue to shape its future. We agree with the editors of this volume that ‘ all forms and projects of governance are intrinsically ideological’ and that these ideas serve to constitute the structures of the global political economy and act as a source of power. In the chapter we apply this to the global governance of development and, in doing so, identify three foundational ideas that explain the structure of the governance system: (1) the belief that poverty is predominantly caused by domestic factors, such as difficult geography, bad policies, corruption, weak institutions, lack of savings or culture; (2) the belief that underdevelopment is a function of a lack of resources – usually financial, but also technical or human – and that this can be tackled with a sufficient infusion of capital; and (3) the belief that the key to effective aid and long-term development is for countries to build strong and robust institutions, such as the rule of law, multiparty democracy, effective bureaucracy, private property and free markets – in short, to follow the rubric of ‘ good governance’ .
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the International Political Economy of Governance
EditorsAnthony Payne, Nicola Phillips
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar, Cheltenham
ISBN (Print)978-1-78347-309-0 , 978-0-85793-347-8
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2014


  • Poverty
  • International inequality
  • global governance
  • Governance
  • Development finance


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