The soft power of development: aid and assistance as public diplomacy activities

Alexander, C. ORCID: 0000-0003-0705-8814, 2018. The soft power of development: aid and assistance as public diplomacy activities. In: J. Servaes, ed., Handbook of communication for development and social change. Singapore: Springer Nature. ISBN 9789811070358

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Following a political communications framework can provide useful critical understanding of the international philanthropic industries beyond the more traditional approaches of political economy, anthropology and postcolonial studies. To this end, this chapter frames foreign aid and development assistance through theories of soft power, arguing that these activities are acts of public diplomacy and thereby conducive to the source government's power accumulation motive. This is open to some contest across the literature as research framed under international political economy or social anthropology often assumes that international power redistribution is the primary motive. Analysis of these programmes under the soft power framework allows for the discussion of the multitude of audiences that the activities engage with beyond the direct recipients of assistance as part of the power accumulation precedent. The chapter will hereby discuss the role of morality and compassion within the policy-making process, which leads to the question of whether we should really be considering whether most aid and development is in fact meant to work rather than the more popular query of why so much of it does not work.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Alexander, C.
Publisher: Springer Nature
Place of Publication: Singapore
Date: 2018
ISBN: 9789811070358
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 13 Nov 2018 14:52
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:19

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