Slicing up the developing world: differentiation in the special treatment of developing countries

Djalita Fialho de Oliveira Ramos

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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This paper analyses the motivation behind the UN decision to establish the LDC category in 1971. The reviewed literature highlights conflicting interests of the actors involved. It provides a historical account of the creation of the category and an international political economy analysis of that process. Based on this literature, I argue that the initial LDC identification process - which set a precedent for future LDC categorizations - was manipulated in order to generate a reduced list of small and economically and politically insignificant countries. Contrary to the LDC official narrative, this list served the interests of both donors (by undermining UN’s implicit effort to normalize international assistance) and other non-LDC developing countries (disturbed by the creation of a positive discrimination within the group, favouring the most disadvantaged among them). As a result of this manipulation, considerably less development-promoting efforts are demanded from donors; which, in turn, does not significantly distress the interests of other non-LDC, more advanced developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • van Bergeijk, Peter, Supervisor
Award date19 Jun 2015
Place of PublicationEnschede NL
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2015

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