Official development assistance (ODA) as a hegemonic practice (1945–2000)

Publication date:
Daniel Lemus Delgado, Profesor-investigador, Escuela de Ciencias Sociales y Gobierno, Tecnológico de Monterrey (México)

Official Development Assistance (ODA) has been paradigmatically constituted as an objective, universal and appropriate formula for countries to progress. But ODA is not neutral. This paper examines the evolution of ODA in the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) using the neo-Gramscian concept of hegemony. This perspective takes hegemony to be the articulation and justification of particular interests presented and accepted as general interests. Hegemony is therefore the conjunction of material power with the dissemination of an image of the world order and the presence of institutions that manage that order. This paper seeks to emphasise the need for theoretical reflection as a tool for demystifying ODA practices to allow an alternative model of development to be constructed.

Key words: Official Development Assistance (ODA), Development Assistance Committee (DAC), Gramsci, hegemony


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