New Book: Development Co-operation and Emerging Powers: New Partners or Old Patterns?

Image: Flickr, Enoch Leung
Image: Flickr, Enoch Leung

The outcome of the Busan High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness was significant because it sought to bridge the divide between North-South and South-South cooperation, notwithstanding the existing divergent views each side held on the issue.

Busan responded to the changing development landscape, in which South-South cooperation was becoming increasingly important, by agreeing to establish a new Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation that would also see the phasing out of the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness.

A new book called “Development Cooperation and Emerging Powers: New Partners or Old Patterns” explores the development policies of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. The  volume positions the case studies in the context of the way in which South-South cooperation has evolved and the lessons learnt from traditional forms of aid. Against the background of the changes in the international system of development cooperation, the book also discusses the possibility for convergence or conflict in this transitional phase of the architecture of development cooperation.

As the UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development, Jomo Kwame Sundaram, says in the foreword to the book,

“the emergence of new development partners should be seen as the starting point for the gradual emergence of more comprehensive and balanced international development cooperation, bringing greater gains to aid-dependent economies, including key international development issues such as international tax cooperation, sovereign debt workouts and international economic governance.”

Emerging economies want to be rule makers, not just rule takers, and increasingly are making their voices heard in international forums. In so doing they are eroding the West’s ‘monopoly’ on developmental issues. Nevertheless, as emerging powers engage more deeply in development cooperation, they face obstacles similar to this experienced earlier by advanced economies.

• Have their own shared experiences of poverty led emerging powers to evolve a unique method of engaging with other countries in the developing world?

• Can South-South Cooperation contribute to the evolution of an internationally acceptable public policy framework that advances and protects the global commons?

• What are the options for the creation of a global legitimate platform that incorporates South-South cooperation?

• How may the growing divergence of interests between major developing economies and poorer countries affect the underlying notion of Southern solidarity in development cooperation?

About the Authors:

Elizabeth Sidiropoulos is the national director of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the editor-in-chief of the South African Journal of International Affairs. Her research focus is on South African foreign policy and the impact of emerging powers on Africa’s global engagement. Before her current appointment she was director of studies at SAIIA and research director at the South African Institute of Race Relations, where she was editor of the highly acclaimed Race Relations Survey (now the South Africa Survey), an annual publication documenting political and constitutional developments, and socio-economic disparities in South Africa.

Thomas Fues, trained as an economist, has been with the German Development Institute (DIE) as senior fellow since 2004. His main research interests are global governance, rising powers, the United Nations and international development cooperation. Recent publications include articles on the G8/G20, the role of rising powers in the global system, and the UN development sector, as well as on human rights and global governance. Since 2009 he has headed the training department at DIE and he has worked for the German parliament, the Institute of Peace and Development (University Duisburg-Essen), the government of North Rhine Westphalia and the German Advisory Council on Global Change, as well as acting as a freelance consultant.

Dr Sachin Chaturvedi is a senior fellow at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, a think tank sponsored by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. Till recently he was Global Justice Fellow at the MacMillan Center for International Affairs at Yale University, USA, where he worked on issues related to global governance and access to innovation and technology. He is author of two books and has published several research articles in various prestigious journals.

To order a copy of ‘Development Cooperation and Emerging Powers: New Partners or Old Patterns?‘ and to view the table of contents, follow this link to the Zed Books website.


Watch an interview with the authors on You Tube, courtesy of The German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).

Praise for this book: 

This is a fascinating and informative book: nothing less than a new guide to modern development cooperation. It shows us how the fight against poverty works in a world barrelling towards multipolarity. Provocative and challenging.’

Bert Koenders, UN Undersecretary General and former Minister of Development Cooperation, The Netherlands

With some large emerging economies assuming an active role alongside traditional “donors”, global development discourse has become more contentious. Featuring top experts from seven countries, this excellent collection reflects these debates.’

Thomas Pogge, Yale University