Growth and decline : understanding international food aid since 1993

Jordaan, Eduard (2000-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In 1993, international food aid reached a record high level, but by 1997 food aid had fallen to its lowest level in more than two decades. Though the post-1993 decline of food aid has been the dominant trend in food aid, there has also been a significant growth in food aid during the period in question. This thesis aims to understand the paradoxical, but parallel, growth and decline of food aid since 1993 from a neo- Gramscian perspective. The neo-Gramscian approach to international relations is a historically sensitive, non-deterministic Marxist perspective, normatively committed to transformation towards a more just world order. This perspective assists us in understanding the relative freedom enjoyed by the hegemon from the structural and institutional constraints faced by other states. The neo-Gramscian approach is unique in indicating the role of middle powers and international organisations in perpetuating and legitimising the hegemonic order, whereby middle powers strongly support international organisations. The decline of food aid occurred because agricultural surplus availability has remained the most important factor determining food aid levels, with food aid consequently declining as cereal prices increased after 1993. Furthermore, the food aid regime has proved too weak to enforce a severing of the link between food aid and agricultural surplus for most states, particularly the largest food aid donor and hegemon, the United States. The growth of food aid has been the result of the support given to relevant international organisations and agreements by middle powers, despite middle powers initially having been manipulated into participating in the food aid regime by the hegemonic United States. The possible implications of the trends identified in this study for the future of food aid to Sub- Saharan Africa, also enjoy consideration.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In 1993 het internasional voedselhulp 'n rekord hoogtepunt bereik, maar teen 1997 het voedselhulp geval tot die laagste vlak in meer as twee dekades. Alhoewel die post- 1993 afname van voedselhulp die uitstaande tendens in voedselhulp was tydens die betrokke periode, het voedselhulp ook gegroei gedurende hierdie tydperk. Hierdie tesis beoog om die teenstrydige, maar parallelle, groei en afname van voedselhulp sedert 1993 te verstaan vanuit 'n neo-Gramsciaanse perspektief. Die neo- Gramsciaanse benadering tot internasionale betrekkinge is 'n histories sensitiewe, niedeterministiese Marxistiese perspektief, normatief verbind tot transformasie na 'n meer regverdige wêreldorde. Hierdie perspektief help ons om die hegemoon se relatiewe vryheid van die strukturele en institusionele beperkinge en struikelblokke wat deur ander state in die gesig gestaar word, te verstaan. Die neo-Gramsciaanse benadering is uniek in die klem wat dit plaas op die rol van middelslag-moondhede en internasionale organisasies in die stabilisering en legitimering van die hegemoniese orde. Die afname in voedselhulp het plaasgevind omdat die beskikbaarheid van landbousurplus nog steeds die belangrikste bepalende faktor van voedselhulpvlakke is, met 'n gevolglike afname in voedselhulp toe graanpryse gestyg het na 1993. Wat meer is, die voedselhulpregime was te swak om 'n verbreking van die verband tussen voedselhulp en landbousurplus af te dwing met betrekking tot die meeste donateurstate, maar veral ten opsigte van die hegemoon en grootste donateur van voedselhulp, die Verenigde State. Die groei van voedselhulp is te danke aan die ondersteuning van die betrokke internasionale organisasies en ooreenkomste deur middelslag-moondhede, alhoewel die hegemoniese Verenigde State middelslagmoondhede aanvanklik moes manipuleer tot deelname aan die voedselhulpregime. Die moontlike implikasies van die tendense geïdentifiseer in hierdie studie vir die toekoms van voedselhulp na Sub-Sahara Afrika, geniet ook oorweging.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51780
This item appears in the following collections: