Does the rise of Emerging Powers challenge the existing notions of development?

Essay, 2010

10 Pages, Grade: 1,0



With the beginning of the 21st century and the rise of so called new emerging donors within International Development Assistance, questions to what extent these new actors change the existing notions of development in general gained widespread interest among scholars from various academic backgrounds. Ranging from announcements of massive change which will affect the development paradigm as a whole[1] to more nuanced analysis’s of the impact of these newly emerging actors[2], the academic discourse provides various answers to these questions. The aim of this article will be to examine and analyze the scope and significance of new emerging donors by examining in a first step who these new emerging donors are and what their actual impact on current development assistance looks like. I will argue that the term new emerging donors is misleading in terms of promoting the idea of a coherent group which is actually very diverse and in terms of the fact that these donors are considered to be new, although most of them have a long history in providing aid to other countries.

In a second step, this paper will focus on the example of China as the biggest new emerging donor by examining the underlying principles of Chinese development assistance, differences to the western donor community and the possible impact of Chinese aid on development in general and especially in Africa. I will argue that Chinese aid is largely intertwined with economic self-interests and its national foreign policy, which leads to a mixed picture concerning its outcomes and effects on development in general, although the overall results within the developing countries are rather successful. Furthermore, I will state that the existing flaws within the western development model as well as the situation in many African countries favor the recent success of Chinese aid and made it possible in the first place.

Finally, I will draw a conclusion based on the presented analysis to what extent new emerging donors will change the existing notions of development.

New emerging donors?

Whereas the 1990s have been a decade of western dominance within Development Assistance, reaching usually a share of 95% of total international aid, shaping development practice in terms of common goals, underlying norms and motives and therefore defining good development practice, the ongoing rise of so called new emerging donors seems to have changed the face of international development co-operation since the beginning of the 21st century. Organized within the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), the 22 western member states played a dominant role in defining development standards whilst other donor countries played a rather minor role in international aid. However, countries outside the OECD framework, usually referred to as newly emerging, are in fact re-emerging donors, which played an active role in providing aid to developing countries, notably from the 1960s until the late 1980s. Thus, following the analysis of Manning 2006, it is arguably more appropriate to refer to these re-emerging donors as non-DAC donors, focusing on the fact that they act outside set OECD frameworks and are not entirely new to development practice in general. But still the question remains how these non-DAC countries will influence development practice in the future, especially in cases, such as China, where there is little chance of alignment to OECD development standards in the near future and therefore potential alternatives to current aid formalities arise for aid recipients. (Manning 2006: 371 – 372)

Whilst current debates focus mostly on the heavyweights of non-DAC donors, such as China and India, the current rise of new non-DAC donors comprises a variety of countries within the international donor community, making it a rather heterogeneous group. Manning identifies four main groups of non-DAC donors.

The first group comprises countries like Korea, Mexico or Turkey, who all plan to increase their development aid and are members of the OECD, whilst not being members of the DAC. The second group is that of new EU members who aren’t members of the OECD but are committed to the aid principles of the EU. Thus, because of their close links to OECD standards, both groups will likely be following set DAC standards and regulations, i.e. laid out in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in 2005. In consequence, these countries will have mostly a financial impact on development in general by increasing the total amount of aid disbursed following these standards but without challenging the current development practice as a whole. (Manning 2006: 373)


[1] See i.e. Six (2009)

[2] See i.e. Manning (2006); Tull (2006)

Excerpt out of 10 pages


Does the rise of Emerging Powers challenge the existing notions of development?
University of Birmingham  (Department of Political Science and International Studies)
International Political Economy
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
506 KB
Politik, Politics, Development;, China, Emerging donor;, DAC;, Political, Economy;
Quote paper
Florian Meyer (Author), 2010, Does the rise of Emerging Powers challenge the existing notions of development?, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Does the rise of Emerging Powers challenge the existing notions of development?

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free