Political Economy and Aid Industry in Asia

J Hutchison, Wil Hout, C Hughes, R Robison

Research output: Book/Report/Inaugural speech/Farewell speechBookAcademic


The international aid industry’s experimentation with political economy analysis is on the road to nowhere, so long as it is still assumed development is a public good and reform comes from experts and enlightened reformers working in partnership on new institutions, while development failures are the result of information failures or perverse incentives, as collective action problems. This book provocatively argues that donor efforts to think and work more politically have not adequately addressed to date the structural dimensions of power and interests and the political economy of the aid industry itself. The authors address these ‘elephants in the room’ via a lively critique of technical and agency-focused political economy approaches on the one hand, and the sustained application of an original typology for evaluating the commitments of reform actors and strength of their alliances with donors on the other. The analysis highlights the need for donors to engage more tactically and opportunistically to achieve incremental improvements in the lives of the poor.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

SeriesCritical Studies of the Asia-Pacific

Research programs



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