Past eventResearch Event

Development Aid and Democracy in Africa

9 June 2016 - 15:00 to 16:00

Chatham House, London


Prof Tobias Hagmann, Co-Editor; Associate Professor, Roskilde Universitet
Dr Zoe Marriage, Author; Reader in Development Studies, SOAS
Dr David Harrison, Clerk, International Development Committee (2010-15)
Chair: Prof Abiodun Alao, Professor of African Studies, King’s College London



As the international donor community continues to seek to improve the livelihoods of the world’s poorest people, they may be doing so in authoritarian one-party states, or countries with poor records on human rights and corruption. Engaging in such contexts means there is a tension between the values they seek to promote and those of the governments with which they engage. This raises important questions about the drivers of poverty, the costs of stability, and the long-term impacts of aid. It also points to long-standing difficult concerns regarding whether and how donors influence politics and governance without undermining African agency and at a time of diversifying diplomatic, commercial and aid relations in Africa.

This event will launch the book, Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa: Development without Democracy, published by Zed Books. Speakers will discuss donor relations and influence in one-party states in Africa and examine the impacts that aid policies have on the political economy of African states.