Inputs and Outcomes: Debunking Aid, Trade, and Investment As Drivers of Development

  • Justin van der Merwe
  • Nicole Dodd
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


The international market pressurises developing countries into lowering trade barriers, whilst offering up foreign direct investment and aid as catalysts for development. These financial inputs are presented as the only means of achieving economic growth and boosting human development. However, careful interrogation of these assertions and an inspection of the evidence suggests otherwise. In what should seem like common sense, countries need baseline levels of maturity in terms of governance and development before such interventions are likely to yield significant benefits. Country differences should also be considered, suggesting that advocacy of a ‘one size fits all’ approach might be because of its benefits for the Global North, and not the Global South. Aid, trade, and investment could simply be mechanisms employed by the Global North, who exploit country-level vulnerabilities in the Global South to perpetuate asymmetry and inequality.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justin van der Merwe
    • 1
  • Nicole Dodd
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Military StudiesUniversity of StellenboschSaldanhaSouth Africa
  2. 2.School for Human and Organisational DevelopmentUniversity of StellenboschSaldanhaSouth Africa

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