International Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement is a peer-reviewed, open access e-journal that publishes original, interdisciplinary, policy-relevant papers in the field of international cooperation and development. Anchored in Geneva at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, it publishes contributions by researchers and reflective practitioners worldwide. Our articles aim to contribute both to scholarly discourse and to policy and practice in the field of international cooperation and development.

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The Globethics.net library contains articles of International Development Policy as of vol. 1(2010) to current.

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  • A New Generation of Leaders in Africa: What Issues Do They Face?

    John O. Igué (2010-03-01)
    Africa is at a crossroads. It is now at the centre of development concerns that its leaders have been involved in for 50 years. These leaders are striving to find a happy outlet through which the black continent would be able play a role at the forefront of the world stage. A new generation of leaders has to be considered, who are capable of facing up to a number of challenges such as fragmentation of the region, history and knowledge, relaying the foundations of the post-colonial State, promotion of democracy and human rights and the implementation of new conditions for peace and freedom, the gauge of sustainable development. The ways in which these various challenges are tackled are crucial.
  • Recent Trends in World Trade and International Negotiations

    Marie Chamay; Christophe Bellmann; Trineesh Biswas (2010-03-01)
    World trade in 2009 was dominated by the worst financial and economic crisis in decades. Global output shrank. So did the volume of international trade. Despite bearing no responsibility for the crisis, the poorer developing countries have fared the worst. China, Brazil and India saw exports drop by between a fifth and a third in the second half of 2008, but countries not belonging to the top 20 developing country exporters were hit even harder. Trade and GDP growth have started to pick up again, but some economists fear a “double-dip” recession. If unemployment continues to grow, it may become harder for governments to resist protectionist pressures. In terms of the WTO negotiations, the crisis cuts both ways. Governments are preoccupied with more immediate concerns. But the crisis has shattered the sense that protectionism was unthinkable, making a trade deal seem more valuable. The G-20 major economies have called for concluding the Doha Round in 2010, but it remains to be seen whether this pledge will amount to anything. The number of bilateral trade deals continues to grow, with Switzerland an enthusiastic participant. Some of these deals have been criticised for “WTO-plus” obligations, particularly regarding intellectual property. Meanwhile, there are real grounds for arguing that the Doha Round agenda does not reflect many current problems, especially climate change. With the US and the EU threatening to impose tariffs on exports from emerging economies with no hard emissions caps, it is clear that governments need to find some way of discussing the new challenges confronting the global economy.
  • Redéfinir les conditions de travail en Europe

    Vendramin, Patricia; Parent-Thirion, Agnès (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développementInternational Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement, 2019-06-18)
    À l’aune des critères de l’Organisation internationale du travail (OIT), les conditions de travail en Europe sont relativement enviables, mais cet article met en évidence un certain nombre de tendances à la fois contreproductives pour les entreprises et préjudiciables pour les salariés et la collectivité. Depuis une vingtaine d’années, les conditions et les formes d’organisation du travail se transforment au gré de tendances qui ne coïncident plus avec l’évolution de la population active – notamment avec les fortes attentes expressives de salariés de plus en plus qualifiés, la généralisation de la présence des femmes sur le marché du travail, l’évolution des modes de vie et le vieillissement de la population active. Durant cette période, la notion de qualité du travail a occasionnellement figuré parmi les priorités des responsables politiques. Elle est aujourd’hui prise en considération à l’échelle européenne grâce au nouveau socle européen des droits sociaux et au concept de travail soutenable. Cet article explore les discours académiques et politiques sur la qualité du travail et dresse un état des conditions de travail en Europe et des enjeux actuels dans ce domaine. Il est fondé sur les vagues successives d’enquêtes sur les conditions de travail en Europe (EWCS) menées par la Fondation européenne pour l’amélioration des conditions de vie et de travail (Eurofound). En conclusion, les auteures se demandent si la notion de travail soutenable peut s’inscrire dans la démarche prospective de l’OIT et devenir un élément déterminant de l’avenir du monde du travail.
  • Développement économique et legs coloniaux en Afrique

    Gareth Austin (2010-03-01)
    Cet article étudie les effets du gouvernement colonial et de l’action des Africains pendant la période coloniale sur le contexte institutionnel et la situation en matière de ressources qui ont posé le cadre du futur développement économique au sud du Sahara. Cette question est placée dans la perspective de la dynamique du développement dans une région qui était, en 1900, extrêmement riche en terres et caractérisée par un manque de main-d’œuvre et de capital, par des activités marchandes indigènes dont l’ampleur peut étonner et par des degrés variables mais souvent peu élevés de centralisation politique. L’article explore la différence entre les effets des gouvernements français et britannique, mais il affirme que la différence visible dans l’évolution de la pauvreté, du bien-être et du changement structurel a davantage été déterminée par l’opposition entre économies « de peuplement » et « d’exploitation ».
  • L’OIT : la justice sociale dans un monde global ? Une histoire en tension

    Kott, Sandrine (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développementInternational Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement, 2019-06-19)
    Cette contribution analyse, dans une perspective historique, les modalités selon lesquelles l’Organisation internationale du travail a pu affirmer et remplir la mission qui lui a été confiée en 1919 : représenter les mondes du travail et promouvoir la justice sociale de manière universelle. Elle montre que l’organisation s’est, dès sa création, enferrée dans une contradiction fondamentale entre la promesse de justice sociale et de démarchandisation du travail qu’elle formule et incarne et son rôle d’agence sociale de la mondialisation économique. Cette tension s’est amplifiée après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, dans le contexte de la guerre froide et de la décolonisation.
  • Trends and issues in international development cooperation

    Gilles Carbonnier; Gérard Perroulaz; Claudie Fioroni (2010-03-01)
    Aid volume from OECD countries has set a new record. However, the assistance recorded as ODA includes categories that do not contribute to reducing poverty in developing countries. Emerging economies and private donors provide an increasing proportion of aid. Progress has been made in implementing the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in a few fields, such as untying aid, but the results do not meet expectations. The approach, too often purely technical, omits taking fully into consideration the political dimension which strongly affects aid effectiveness. The issue of overall policy coherence receives renewed attention at a time when the debate about climate change is leading development agencies to reconsider goals and strategies.
  • Le système d’aide au développement de la France et du Royaume-Uni : points de repère sur cinquante ans d’évolutions depuis la décolonisation

    François Pacquement (2010-03-01)
    Anciennes puissances coloniales, la France et le Royaume-Uni sont des bailleurs de fonds influents dans la gouvernance globale de l’aide. Cet article décrit de façon très synthétique l’histoire de leur contribution au développement, sous l’angle des institutions, des stratégies et des financements. Les institutions ont connu des évolutions complexes depuis les premiers pas de la mise en valeur coloniale jusqu’aux réformes les plus récentes. Les stratégies sont ambitieuses, ancrées dans une recherche substantielle, et assurent une audience multilatérale par laquelle la question coloniale a été portée au rang de défi global. L’un et l’autre pays ont une vision plus large de l’aide au développement que la comptabilisation du Comité d’aide au développement de l’OCDE. Leurs financements, dont le montant n’échappe pas aux aléas politiques, assurent une contribution importante, qui vise à répondre aux multiples besoins du développement.
  • How Development Assistance from France and the United Kingdom Has Evolved: Fifty Years on from Decolonisation

    François Pacquement (2010-03-01)
    France and the United Kingdom are influential backers when it comes to the global governance of aid to developing countries. A short history of the contributions made by these former colonial powers to ODA is presented, covering the institutions concerned, strategies conducted and funding provided. These institutions have undergone complex changes since the initial phase of making “improvements” in the colonies up until recent reforms. Their ambitious strategies, grounded on considerable research, have received attention from a multilateral audience, turning the colonial question into a global issue. The vision of aid in both France and the UK is broader than is conveyed by the calculations that are carried out by the OECD’s DAC. Though subject to political contingencies, aid from these countries amounts to a substantial contribution that seeks to respond to various development needs.
  • Le Ghana et la Côte d’Ivoire : une inversion des rôles

    Francis Teal; Markus Eberhardt (2010-03-01)
    Depuis leur indépendance, le Ghana et la Côte d’Ivoire ont eu une trajectoire économique radicalement différente. A partir de 1970, l’économie du Ghana a connu un effondrement durable tel qu’en 1983, le niveau du PIB réel par habitant du pays avait chuté d’environ 40 %, sa monnaie ne valait plus rien et sa troisième tentative de gouvernement démocratique s’était soldée par un quatrième coup d’Etat en quinze ans. A l’inverse, la Côte d’Ivoire avait joui d’une croissance plus ou moins ininterrompue telle qu’en 1980 le PIB réel par habitant était deux fois supérieur à celui des années 1960. Cependant, on a assisté à un remarquable renversement de la situation à partir du milieu des années 1980. En effet, dès 1983 le Ghana a connu une reprise durable, tandis que la Côté d’Ivoire a subi d’importantes pertes de revenus, son premier coup d’Etat en 1999 et la descente vers la guerre civile et l’agitation ethnique. Pourtant l’un des pays africains les moins florissants, le Ghana en est devenu l’un des plus prospères, échangeant sa place avec la Côte d’Ivoire, plongée dans une violente guerre civile et dont l’économie est passée d’une croissance rapide à la stagnation. Cet article a pour objet de décrire et d’expliciter cet incroyable renversement des tendances.
  • Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire: Changing Places

    Markus Eberhardt; Francis Teal (2010-03-01)
    The economic histories of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire since their independence have been dramatically different. In the period from 1970 Ghana experienced a sustained collapse in its economy such that by 1983 its level of real GDP per person had fallen by some 40%, its currency was worthless and the third attempt at democratic government had ended with a fourth military coup in 15 years. In contrast, Côte d’Ivoire had enjoyed more or less uninterrupted growth such that by 1980 real GDP per person was twice its 1960s level. However, the period since the mid-1980s has seen a remarkable reversal of fortunes. From 1983 Ghana has experienced sustained recovery, while Côte d’Ivoire has seen large falls in income, its first coup in 1999 and a decline into civil war and ethnic unrest. From being among the least successful Ghana has gone to being among the most successful of African countries, changing places with Côte d’Ivoire which has seen its economy transformed from one experiencing rapid growth to stagnation in a country ravaged by a bitter civil war. This article seeks to document and explain this extraordinary reversal of fortunes.
  • Une nouvelle génération de leaders en Afrique : quels enjeux ?

    John O. Igué (2010-03-01)
    L’Afrique est à la croisée des chemins. Elle est désormais au cœur des préoccupations de développement dans lesquelles sont engagés ses dirigeants depuis une cinquantaine d’années. Ces derniers peinent à trouver une issue heureuse à partir de laquelle le continent noir pourrait jouer un rôle de premier plan sur la scène internationale. Il est nécessaire de réfléchir à une nouvelle génération de leaders, capables de relever plusieurs défis comme ceux de la fragmentation de l’espace, de l’histoire et du savoir, de la refondation de l’Etat postcolonial, de la promotion de la démocratie et des droits humains, et de la mise en place de nouvelles conditions de paix et de liberté, gage d’un développement durable. C’est sur la manière d’affronter ces différents défis que se penche cette contribution.
  • African Economic Development and Colonial Legacies

    Gareth Austin (2010-03-01)
    This article reviews how colonial rule and African actions during the colonial period affected the resources and institutional settings for subsequent economic development south of the Sahara. The issue is seen from the perspective of the dynamics of development in what was in 1900 an overwhelmingly land-abundant region characterised by shortages of labour and capital, by perhaps surprisingly extensive indigenous market activities and by varying but often low levels of political centralisation. The differential impact of French and British rule is explored, but it is argued that a bigger determinant of the differential evolution of poverty, welfare and structural change was the contrast between “settler” and “peasant” economies.
  • From the Centre to the Margins and Back Again: Women in Agriculture at the ILO

    Verschuur, Christine (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développementInternational Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement, 2019-06-11)
    Women in agriculture play a particularly important role in the economy. But their work—as peasants and as agricultural wage earners—their knowledge, their place in agricultural systems of production and their contribution to global prosperity have only been recognised in recent years, or still lack significant recognition. With changes in systems of production that are related to globalisation, the marginalisation and the workload of women in agriculture has often increased due to the perpetuation of an unequal sexual division of work in agriculture, and due to unequal access to the workforce and to agricultural inputs, technologies, credit schemes and land. One of the main constraints faced by female peasants and agricultural wage earners is the continuous and increasing reproductive work, which rests disproportionately on the most excluded women. Feminist studies have theorised and underlined the centrality of social reproduction, deconstructing what women’s work is and contesting the binary distinction between ‘production’ and ‘reproduction’. They have, further, shown how the prosperity of the global economy benefits from women’s work, including subsistence production where women play a major role. The focus on women in agriculture has been a starting point for gender and development studies. The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) programmes on women in rural areas have included groundbreaking research, the recognition of women’s unpaid and paid work, and support for women’s empowerment in grass-roots organisations. After having disappeared to the margins, rural women are back at the centre of the ILO’s discussion on rural economies in recent years. The approach is now guided by the Decent Work agenda, which prevails globally in the ILO. We will explore how the ILO’s programmes on rural economies and gender have evolved since the Organization’s inception. We will also consider how the ILO’s analysis and programmes directed at the work of the most excluded women in agriculture could contribute to informing the Decent Work Agenda and changing the organisation of social reproduction and livelihoods.
  • The ILO @ 100

    Alenda-Demoutiez, Juliette; Antwi, Abena Asomaning; Ba, Zrampieu Sarah; Bellucci, Stefano; Biersteker, Thomas; Calvão, Filipe; Carbonnier, Gilles; Coulson, Nancy; Donini, Antonio; Gironde, Christophe; et al. (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développementInternational Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement, 2019-06-11)
    On the occasion of the centenary of the International Labour Organization (ILO), this 11th special issue of International Development Policy explores the Organization's capacity for action, its effectiveness and its ability to adapt and innovate. The collection of thirteen articles, written by authors from around the world, covers three broad areas: the ILO’s historic context and contemporary challenges; approaches and results in relation to labour and social protection; and the changes shaping the future of work. The articles highlight the progress and gaps to date, as well as the context and constraints faced by the ILO in its efforts to respond to the new dilemmas and challenges of the fourth industrial revolution, with regard to labour and social protection. Paperback reference: Gironde, Christophe and Gilles Carbonnier (eds.) (2019) The ILO @ 100, International Development Policy series No.11 (Geneva, Boston: Graduate Institute Publications, Brill-Nijhoff). Order your copy on Brill-Nijhoff’s website.
  • Health Protection in Ghana and Senegal: What is the ILO’s Role?

    Alenda-Demoutiez, Juliette; Antwi, Abena Asomaning; Mendo, Elvire; Ba, Zrampieu Sarah (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développementInternational Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement, 2019-06-11)
    In West Africa, the right of access to universal social security is far from being respected. International institutions and African governments have been mobilising for several years to fight this phenomenon. In a role that has evolved over the years, the International Labour Organization (ILO) provides technical and financial support to countries in this regard. How and why does the ILO intervene in protecting the health of populations in West Africa? For this institutional study, the methodology is based on a literature review focused on the history of the role of the ILO in the protection of healthcare in West Africa, specifically in Ghana and Senegal. We show the ILO’s involvement since the 1990s for two main reasons: firstly, the lack of access to healthcare in countries with a specific labour form; secondly, the rejection of the idea of social protection by dominant players on the international scene, leading to criticism following the structural adjustment programmes. In the contexts of Ghana and Senegal, both of which have experienced transitions from community-based health mechanisms to universal health coverage, we explain that the ILO has several ways to intervene—technically, institutionally, and financially. An important outcome is the revelation that the vision of the ILO with regard to health protection is systemic, articulating alternative ways to address social protection for the informal economy compared to other international organisations. But this approach is understated considering the dire situation in Africa and the need to improve access to healthcare and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The ILO’s Role in Global Governance: Limits and Potential

    Jakovleski, Velibor; Jerbi, Scott; Biersteker, Thomas (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développementInternational Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement, 2019-06-11)
    The International Labour Organization (ILO) has demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt to changing conditions throughout its long history. At its centenary, the ILO must once again respond to evolving circumstances and find new ways to engage state and private actors participating in an interconnected global economy where labour standards continue to be violated and where work itself is undergoing significant transformations. This chapter explores recent efforts by the ILO’s leadership to reassert the organisation’s role in broader global policy contexts. Part one presents the concept of institutional layering in order to understand better the agents of change and the structures in which they operate. The three sections that follow demonstrate institutional layering across three core dimensions of global governance—actors, rules, and mechanisms—in the period since 1998. The chapter concludes that the ILO’s current governance practices have mixed prospects for the organisation’s role in a changing governance landscape. New layers of soft law rules and flexible governance mechanisms can potentially augment the ILO’s global standing moving forward. Its lack of representativeness and its continuing engagement of new actors, however, demand further formal changes to the ILO’s institutional apparatus.
  • Digitisation and the Disappearing Job Theory: A Role for the ILO in Africa?

    Bellucci, Stefano; Otenyo, Eric E. (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développementInternational Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement, 2019-06-11)
    For a coherent framework for understanding the future of work, there is a need to unify theories on the role of digitisation in any potential job losses. Is it possible that digitisation not only achieves efficiencies but also retains or creates jobs in selected sectors of African economies? With Africa’s population expected to reach 2 billion by 2050, can we be content with the fact that the impact of digitisation has been mostly discussed in the context of advanced economies? This chapter explores possible effects of digitisation in three economic sectors of African economies. Based on reviews of library, security, and entertainment sectors in selected countries, we interrogate the validity of the disappearing job theory, which is reinforced by the global digital revolution. This chapter is intended to fuel the ongoing discussions about the future of jobs in Africa and the role the International Labour Organization (ILO) might play in sustaining African jobs. Since digitisation in Africa has not yet reached the same level as the developed world, its impact is mostly positive in the selected sectors. However, there is a need to manage any unintended consequences of the emerging digitised workplace. Possible interventions by the ILO and support for Africa’s ability to cope with emerging changes are recommended.
  • Working Futures: The ILO, Automation and Digital Work in India

    Calvão, Filipe; Thara, Kaveri (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développementInternational Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement, 2019-06-11)
    With access to data communication networks and the prevalence of informal work, workers in the global South are rapidly inching closer to confronting the impact of automated or digitally enabled non-standard employment. What are the social and political responses required to face this shifting engagement with the means of automated production and the experience of digital work mediated through privately owned global technology platforms? By examining India’s job market, with a focus on the country’s information technology (IT) industry, this chapter assesses whether the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) focus on labour rights and social protection is suited to addressing the potential for capital–labour substitution and the new ecosystem of software-mediated work. The chapter suggests a new engagement with digital labour, closer scrutiny of unregulated working conditions, and democratic control over tech-enabled digital platforms.
  • ILO: Social Justice in a Global World? A History in Tension

    Kott, Sandrine (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développementInternational Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement, 2019-06-11)
    This contribution analyses, from a historical perspective, the ways in which the International Labour Organization has been able to affirm and fulfil the mission entrusted to it in 1919: to represent the worlds of labour and promote social justice in a universal way. It shows that, from its inception, the Organization has been locked in a fundamental contradiction between the promise of social justice and the decommodification of labour that this promise expresses, on the one hand, and the Organization’s role as a social agent of economic globalisation, on the other. This tension increased after the Second World War, in the context of the Cold War and decolonisation.
  • Who Decides? Representation and Decision-Making at the International Labour Organization

    Louis, Marieke (Institut de hautes études internationales et du développementInternational Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement, 2019-06-11)
    The study of international organisations most often consists of an analysis of the implementation and effectiveness of their policies. This chapter takes a different approach, and discusses the processes that prevail within the International Labour Organization (ILO), upstream of the programmes it implements; it focuses on the participants who decide what the ILO does, what it cannot do and how its mandate is fulfilled. Building on the work of Robert Cox and Harold Jacobson (The Anatomy of Influence: Decision Making in International Organizations, 1973), the author will attempt to understand how this institution has developed its process of representation and decision-making since its creation. While the tripartite dynamics of the ILO and the unique role of the trade unions and employers active within it are often underlined, it will be seen that its decision-making process also responds to other logics underpinned by the political and economic balance of power (East/West, North/South, industrialised countries/developing countries), by organisational dynamics (the relative autonomy and expertise of its secretariat and director general) and by external pressures (non-governmental organisations). Based on an analysis of representation in the ILO, this chapter reveals the complexity of its decision-making process. It shows that this institution does not fundamentally upset the traditional balance of power between states, but that its influence also arises from certain structural arrangements and ways of making representation work.

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