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The Pearson Commission, Aid Diplomacy and the Rise of the World Bank, 1966-1970

WRIGHT, MATTHEW,ANTHONY (2017) The Pearson Commission, Aid Diplomacy and the Rise of the World Bank, 1966-1970. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis uses a focus on the Pearson Commission to explore some of the policy and institutional dynamics of international development aid during the later 1960s and early 1970s. It sets these explorations within a theoretical framework and an historical context. Firstly it draws on the theory of ‘international regimes’ created by international relations scholars. While acknowledging the importance of economic and military power balances, regime theorists also argue that the nature of international policy-making is partially defined by, ‘principles, rules, norms and processes’ which shape how policy-makers act. Using political science theory, the thesis identifies three groups who create and shape these regimes: elites, epistemic communities and bureaucrats.
Through a close focus on the dynamics at play within the Pearson Commission’s creation, operation and reception, the main body of the thesis will identify how a small group of individuals, such as William Clark and Barbara Ward, acted to coordinate sections of these three groups within an ‘aid community’ as the international aid regime changed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is argued that specific changes within this regime, including the emergence of the World Bank as a technical leader on aid matters, the establishment of the 0.7 per cent aid volume target, and the creation of a definition of official development assistance (ODA), can be attributed to the workings of this community. This concept of a fractious and fragile aid community is used to challenge accounts of this period which emphasise the inexorability of the rise of the World Bank, or prioritise the importance of ideas and knowledge in explaining the changes in the aid regime.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Feb 2017 08:50

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