Saints and Sinners

Official Development Aid and Its Dynamics in a Historical and Comparative Perspective

Edited by: Thorsten Borring Olesen, Helge O. Pharo, Kristian Paaskesen

Since 1970, 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) as the norm for Official Development Assistance has been universally accepted by the United Nations and the rich donor nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. This book is a comparative and historical analysis of the degree to which aid transfers have conformed to the UN aid norms. Through detailed national studies based on archival materials, as well as current debates in the press and in parliaments, the book discusses why only a small number of countries have lived up to the norm; in other words, why some countries have been striving for the "Glory of the Saint," while most have continued to sin. The book's contributions provide a nuanced view of the nexus between international norms and pressures, domestic welfare, and political systems and donor behavior, and on whether states give aid for reasons of altruism or realpolitik. As the studies show, aid giving was generally moved by both concerns, but often in very complex ways. One key interpretation is that national foreign policy legacies, orientations, and priorities constitute the crucial focal point for understanding how domestic and international impulses have influenced and shaped levels of aid giving.


404 pages

Publication Date: 11/1/2013
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9788232102792