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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Foreign Assistance and the Export of Ideas: Chinese Development Aid in the Gambia and Sierra Leone
Author:Bräutigam, Deborah A.
Periodical:Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics
Geographic terms:Sierra Leone
Subjects:political ideologies
development cooperation
technical cooperation
agricultural technology
Economics and Trade
Development and Technology
international relations
Abstract:This paper argues that the political and ideological context in donor countries shapes both the form and the content of technology transfer, and is an important factor in determining the outcome of aid programmes. The case of Chinese aid to Sierra Leone and The Gambia demonstrates that aid serves as a channel not only of funds and technology, but of political and cultural ideas, particularly those held by State leaders in the donor country, or embedded in a distinct political and economic development model. China's choice of agricultural technology and the strategy for its transfer and diffusion in West Africa were influenced by China's domestic experience, in particular by the ideologies promoted during the Cultural Revolution period in China and by the new ideas that infused the reform period. During the 1970s, China's projects were characterized by an emphasis on self-reliance, egalitarianism and concern for the poor; rapid, top-down diffusion; conflict between material and moral incentives; a lack of concern for economic efficiency; and the creation of models that could not be emulated by local people. In the post-Mao reform period (1979-present), development ideas in China shifted toward concern with economic results, profitability and efficiency, and project design and implementation strategies followed suit. Notes, ref.