SID Lecture: ‘Country ownership’ when there is no social contract: towards a realistic perspective

Third lecture in the series ‘Global Values in a Changing World- Synergy of State and Society in a Globalized World’

Abstract: If the idea of ‘country ownership’ is to help improve aid for development, it needs to be realistic about the likely political drivers of development effort in poor countries. Too much of the current approach to aid effectiveness is based on wishful thinking. This lecture will discuss reasons for not expecting the early emergence of a social contract of a liberal-democratic type in the poorest developing countries, and therefore for rejecting a ‘best practice’ approach to governance improvement and so-called democratic ownership. Instead, more effort needs to be devoted to recognising more and less developmental types of neo-patrimonial regime and to supporting development in a politically intelligent way. Research from the Africa Power & Politics Programme ( will be drawn upon to illustrate what this might mean and why it provides the best basis for directing aid towards country-owned development efforts.

Speaker: David Booth is a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute in London, where he directs an international research consortium, the Africa Power & Politics Programme ( Previously Professor of Development Studies at the University of Wales Swansea, he was trained in sociology, has edited two multidisciplinary development studies journals and has done research and policy advisory work in several countries of Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. His current interests centre on institutional diversity in African governance and the implications for international development strategies

Date: Monday 13 December 2010 / Location: Auditorium, VU University, De Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam / Time: 18:00h-19:30h / Language: English / Admission: Free

Registration recommended through or 070-3383293


Thomas Hurkxkens

15 oktober 2010