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I attempt first to disentangle three aspects of Kant’s distinction between perfect and imperfect duty. There is the central distinction between principles of duty contrary to that which is contradictory in conception/consistent in conception but contradictory in will. There is also a distinction between essential and non-essential duties: those which cannot, or occasionally can, be passed over consistent with the requirements of morality. Finally, there is a distinction between duties that exhibit a scalar aspect – degrees of goodness or virtue – and duties that do not. My aim is to show how these distinct considerations can be reconciled as aspects of a single distinction, and I conclude that the remarkable complexity of Kant’s perfect/imperfect distinction is actually a strength, rather than a weakness.
This article seeks to address a thematic thread that remains relatively unexplored in historical disaster research—victimhood—through an analysis of publications by disaster relief funds and their supporters in the aftermath of the 1934 earthquake in Bihar in northern India. By examining the representations of victimhood, I aim to explore the historical significance of perceptions and constructions of victimhood in the late colonial period. Based on photographs, illustrations, and descriptions of suffering in images and texts, the article suggests that constructions of victimhood effectively relied on imagery that contained, on the one hand, an absence of bodies and, on the other, a feminized anthropomorphization of suffering. The narratives underlying such depictions of earthquake victims are based on a constitution of victimhood that relied on contemporary historical and culturally founded imageries. The analysis of images and texts focuses on how representations of disaster victims were effective in communicating suffering to audiences. I tentatively argue that historically and culturally founded tropes of what constituted a victim formed along two narratives of victimhood that appealed to a colonial and a nationalist readership respectively. These conceptualizations of victimhood formed the basis for collecting aid for relief and reconstruction, rather than the loss of life, dispossession, social marginalization, and displacement suffered by victims of the earthquake.
Analysing how water development projects unfolded in five rural communities in Mozambique, Emily Van Houweling offers an alternative perspective on water and the politicised nature of water management in the region. Using a hydro-social cycle framework, she demonstrates how water is tied to everyday life in matrilineal Nampula and how social relations, gender roles, and local politics were reconfigured during the project. While centring the experience of community members, Van Houweling also includes the perspectives of project implementers, showing how project plans were translated and negotiated as they worked their way down to the community. Employing the concept of organisational culture, Van Houweling reveals the tensions that resulted from different actors' decision-making processes and motivations, and illuminates possible explanations for the gaps between policy and practice. Exploring women's empowerment, community ownership, and participation, this book facilitates innovative ways for thinking about evaluation, sustainability, and gender-water relations.
This chapter introduces the central argument of the book: that China’s 21st- century transition from a “benefactor” to a “banker” has had far-reaching im- pacts in low-income and middle-income countries that are not yet widely understood. Beijing’s growing use of debt rather than aid to bankroll big-ticket infrastructure projects has created new opportunities for developing countries to achieve rapid socioeconomic gains, but it has also introduced major risks, including corruption, conflict, and environmental degradation. Some countries are more effective than others at managing these risks and rewards. This chapter “zooms in” on two countries—Sri Lanka and Tanzania—to illustrate the tension between efficacy and safety confronted by developing countries banking on Chinese development finance. It also provides a roadmap for the rest of the book.
The dataset introduced in this book includes thousands of Chinese government- financed development projects. This chapter begins to analyze these data at the cross-national level and addresses a basic question: Which types of projects does China finance around the world? We provide a detailed overview of the allocation of Chinese development finance based on key variables such as destination countries, flow types (such as grants, loans, technical assistance, debt forgiveness, or sectors). The dataset enables us to distinguish between Chinese-financed aid and debt, and this distinction reveals that China’s donor-to-banker shift occurred in the 2000s following the implementation of the “Going Out” strategy. More generally, this chapter uses our new dataset to demonstrate the value of separating out aid and debt projects and show how different countries have different experiences receiving Chinese projects. In providing readers with an aerial global view of the “known universe” of China’s international development finance projects since 2000, the chapter also situates China’s development finance in the context of that of other major donors.
Chapter 2 describes the enabling environment in which orphanage trafficking occurs. It examines how the utility of the orphan child for aid and development is manipulated for the purpose of the orphanage-trafficking business model in order to profit from donor funding and orphanage tourism. It demonstrates how governments and non-governmental organisations utilise the orphan child as a focal point to increase aid and tourism, leading to a financial dependence on the orphan child. This utility is manipulated and exploited by both governments and non-government organisations to encourage what has been termed an ‘orphan addiction’. This chapter describes the political and social imperatives behind the creation, encouragement and maintenance of the orphan addiction, which in turn drives orphanage tourism and the production of paper orphans. The increasing demand for orphanage tourism creates a demand for the maintenance of an orphan population to visit and volunteer with, which is achieved through orphanage trafficking. Finally, this chapter explains the financial incentives of orphanage trafficking for developing nation governments.
The Conclusion draws together the major contributions that the monograph makes. It recognises orphanage trafficking intersects with child protection, tourism and development and argues for a comprehensive approach to the issue.
Some policies are not politically feasible. In the context of refugees, many claim it is not politically feasible to start admitting significantly more refugees into wealthy countries. In particular, it is not feasible for advocates of refugees to successfully persuade policymakers to adopt such a policy. A recent book by Alexander Betts argues that advocates should instead focus on developing the economies of lower-income countries where most refugees reside. This review essay argues that current data does not yet establish whether Betts's approach is more feasible than increasing refugee admissions to wealthy states. There are good reasons to suppose increasing refugees’ admissions to wealthy states is politically feasible, if we account for the ways citizens in wealthy states are harmed when refugees are not admitted, and for the ways citizens are harmed when immigration enforcement prevents refugees from arriving. Drawing on recent books on immigration, this essay demonstrates that enforcement against refugees constrains citizens’ freedom, well-being, and ability to hold their government to account. Further research can establish if citizens’ interest in reducing enforcement can be translated into policy changes that significantly increase the number of refugees admitted. Such research is necessary before concluding that only helping refugees in lower-income countries is feasible.
This chapter presents the book’s third case study, exploring how state transformation shapes China’s international development financing (DF) policymaking and implementation. DF is often seen as an instrument of economic statecraft, strategically deployed to advance China’s geopolitical interests. Contrarily, we show that authority and policymaking is fragmented and contested among central agencies, producing weak oversight for implementing state-owned enterprises, which have primarily pecuniary motives and scant regard for official Chinese diplomatic goals. DF projects thus emerge not from a ‘top-down’ strategy but in a ‘bottom-up’ way, reflecting the agency of buccaneering SOEs and recipient-country elites. The outcomes of DF projects – and whether they benefit China’s international relations – depend on how the specific interests on both sides intersect, as we show through comparative case studies of hydropower development in Cambodia and Myanmar. In Cambodia, Chinese DF was managed by a dominant-party regime in ways that bolstered its domination, generating warmer ties with Beijing. In Myanmar, however, socio-political fragmentation meant that similar projects exacerbated social conflict and even sparked renewed civil war, prompting a crisis in bilateral relations.
This chapter outlines the NGO sector’s transformation from a vector for traditional ideas of charity, welfare and disaster relief, to the more expansive ‘NGO movement’, equally concerned with matters of human rights, economic equality and global justice, that it became. The emergence of a new generation of aid workers in the late 1960s and early 1970s is at the heart of this narrative. What challenges, the chapter asks, did these individuals pose to how NGOs thought about aid? And how did the sector adapt to these changes? To answer those questions, the chapter explores how left-wing critiques of aid, the influence of intellectuals like Paulo Freire, Ivan Illich and Argentinian economist Raúl Prebisch, and a new emphasis on poverty and inequality in transnational religious circles, converged in a common discourse that placed ‘justice’ (broadly defined). The emphasis on reform in those discussions was key. Ultimately, this story is one of compromise, of how ideas of advocacy and reform were absorbed and rearticulated by the NGO sector.
This chapter examines the lessons of the NGO moment for how we write the history of globalisation. It suggests that we need to think more deeply about the boundaries of the ‘global’, and of where and how ‘global’ narratives are constructed. By looking beyond states and international organisations to NGOs, churches and civil society groups – and, indeed, to the Third World and the experiences of small and middling powers in the West – we can render visible the world system on which ideals such as humanitarianism, human rights, justice and development rested. That process, like the story of post-war globalisation, has three layers. First, the NGO moment helps to illuminate the places (physical, intellectual, and ideological) where globalising ideals were made. Second, it allows us to explore the patterns that underpinned those relationships: the connections between individuals, groups and institutions through which global compassion was constituted. Finally, by tracing how and where NGOs operated, this chapter argues, we gain a much fuller appreciation of how power was distributed in purportedly ‘global’ movements. Taken together, these elements allow us to paint a more nuanced picture of how outwardly ‘global’ ideas were understood, assimilated, rebuffe, and reframed in a variety of social and political contexts.
This chapter sets out three claims about the NGO moment. First, it argues for viewing the history of non-governmental aid in terms of moments of acceleration: bursts of activity that refreshed the sector while carrying with them the baggage of what had come before. While the specific dynamics of the period between Biafra and Live Aid were vital in facilitating the sector’s emergence, the moral frameworks that guided those organisations were equally the product of a much longer formative process. Second, this chapter explains how those dynamics helped non-governmental aid to supplant other forms of compassion in this period to become the dominant expression of popular benevolence towards the Third World. The broad remit of those organisations’ activities not only subsumed ‘aid’ under a single umbrella; its ideological underpinnings gave it an unprecedented justification to intervene anywhere there was suffering in the world. Finally, this chapter suggests that the story of the NGO moment provides us with several lessons for the writing of global history. It argues for describing globalisation as a constructed, context-contingent process that can only be understood as the product of the interactions between individual, organisational, national and supra-national actors.
This book is a study of compassion as a global project from Biafra to Live Aid. Kevin O'Sullivan explains how and why NGOs became the primary conduits of popular concern for the global poor between the late 1960s and the mid-1980s and shows how this shaped the West's relationship with the post-colonial world. Drawing on case studies from Britain, Canada and Ireland, as well as archival material from governments and international organisations, he sheds new light on how the legacies of empire were re-packaged and re-purposed for the post-colonial era, and how a liberal definition of benevolence, rooted in charity, justice, development and rights became the dominant expression of solidarity with the Third World. In doing so, the book provides a unique insight into the social, cultural and ideological foundations of global civil society. It reveals why this period provided such fertile ground for the emergence of NGOs and offers a fresh interpretation of how individuals in the West encountered the outside world.
The Introduction presents the argument, theoretical approach, and methods underpinning the study of aid as migration control in Morocco. I argue that aid marks the rise of a substantially different mode of migration containment, one where power works beyond fast violence, and its disciplinary potential is augmented precisely by its elusiveness. I build on Foucault’s analytic of power to develop a framework that explains the coexistence of fast techniques of bordering with emerging instruments of indirect and elusive rule. I then build on Elizabeth Povinelli’s notion of the ‘quasi-event’ to complicate our understanding of ‘benevolence’, ‘malevolence’, and co-optation into borderwork. I emphasise that the elusiveness of aid makes containment less visible and thus more difficult to resist for the actors orbiting around the aid industry. I compound these different threads of analysis into a discussion about power relations in the governance of the border.
Over the past forty years, countries in the Global North have increasingly restricted their migration policies to reduce the arrival of migrants. As part of this, development aid has become a central tool in the migration control strategy pursued by European countries and the US, with donors, International Organisations and NGOs becoming prominent actors. In this book, Lorena Gazzotti shows that migration control is not only exercised through fences and deportation. Building on extensive research in Morocco, Gazzotti shows that aid marks the rise of a substantially different mode of migration containment, one where power works beyond fast violence, and its disciplinary potential is augmented precisely by its elusiveness. Where existing studies on border externalisation have essentialised donors, International Organisations and NGOs, with countries of 'origin' and 'transit' as compliant subcontractors, and border control as a neat form of intervention, this nuanced study unsettles such assumptions, to show that bordering happens in everyday, mundane fashions, far away from the spectacle of border violence.
An increasingly popular alternative to traditional aid is a “global public goods” (GPG) approach to reducing poverty and countering other global challenges. Having explained the origins and meaning of the concept, which is based on a rationale derived from welfare economics, I present two specific examples: REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and a global initiative for producing a vaccine against Covid-19. I briefly summarize debates about the merits of a GPG approach and how Scandinavian countries are increasingly adopting it, even though this may result in their level of aid falling, since GPG funding may not count. I conclude that if, as seems likely, many countries are slow to accept the shared responsibility that a GPG approach implies, then the reputation, and perhaps even identity, of the Scandinavian people may nevertheless be enhanced if they establish a position – as they have so far often done – among those in the vanguard.
Having laid out the critical importance of finance to energy transitions, this chapter briefly explores the historical role of finance capital in fuelling energy booms and the growth of the fossil fuel economy, before looking at slow shifts in strategy towards a more de-stabilising role in the face of concerns about un-burnable carbon, fears about the risk of stranded assets, as well as the potential returns to be made from expanding investments in renewable energy. In the section on the political economy of finance, however, this more optimistic reading of the role of finance is nuanced by looking at the practices of finance. Finally, in the section on ecologies of finance, the chapter looks at the circulation and interconnectedness of different forms of finance, in which, despite the fetishisation of private finance, public finance still has a vital role to play in the form of aid, multilateral development bank lending and procurement. It also explores the under-acknowledged challenge for finance of energy systems which will have to restrict supply and demand if they are to be compatible with a sustainable climate future.
This chapter discusses international observers and their efforts to improve the quality of elections. Elections are profoundly performative. They demand an audience, and since the late colonial period that audience has been in part an international one. Generations of political leaders, and civil servants, have sought to emphasise the disciplinary function of elections by reminding the public that “the eyes of the world” are upon them. The institutionalization of international election observation over the last thirty years has turned this gaze back upon the state itself: requiring and expecting behaviour in line with international norms. In the African context, though, international election observation has attracted more criticism than acclaim. We argue that this is because observers face two fundamental problems. The first is that observers’ very presence is part of the state effect of elections, conferring legitimacy, yet observers can only report critical opinions after the fact. This links to a second problem, which is that as observers respond to the numerous pressures they face they risk undermining their own credibility, especially among opposition supporters. Especially where elections have generally failed to deliver political change, this undermines the capacity of observers to encourage citizens and parties to play by the rules of the democratic game.
This article examines how Japan has adapted economic statecraft to serve changing strategic aims through case studies of trade arrangements, official development assistance, and dual-use technology. After World War II, Japan continuously adapted these economic tools to pursue shifting non-economic goals related to international reintegration, comprehensive security, human security, and traditional security. More recently, in response to escalating US–China strategic competition, Japan has employed economic statecraft to simultaneously reduce international instability and to counter China in targeted ways as part of a broader hedging approach. First, Japan has attempted to bolster multilateral trade arrangements amid a volatile policy environment, while also using them to both engage and counter China. Second, Japan has used official development assistance to stabilize and build defense capacity in Asian countries facing pressure from China. Third, Japan has increasingly militarized its dual-use technologies to enhance its ability to respond to Chinese activity in outer space.
Recent empirical evidence suggests that Chinese development finance may be particularly prone to elite capture and patronage spending. If aid ends up in the pockets of political elites and their ethno-regional networks, this may exacerbate ethnic grievances and contribute to ethnic mobilization. In this research note I examine whether Chinese development projects make local ethnic identities more salient in African partner countries. A new geo-referenced data set on the subnational allocation of Chinese development finance projects to Africa is geographically matched with survey data for 50,520 respondents from eleven African countries. The identification strategy compares sites where a Chinese project was under implementation at the time of the interview to sites where a Chinese project will appear subsequently. The empirical results suggest that living near an ongoing Chinese project makes ethnic identities more salient. There is no indication of an equivalent pattern when considering other donors’ development projects.