Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

Francis Adams

Committee Member

Trisha Bezman

Committee Member

Larry Filer


International development institutions (IDIs) have increasingly emphasized good governance and democratic reform in the provision of foreign assistance. This is especially apparent with respect to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank, European Union (EU), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This project describes and explains the good governance and democracy promotion program of each institution.

Previous studies have accounted for IDIs' good governance and democracy promotion in the 1990s in a generalized way. They have taken into consideration external international changes such as the fading of the Cold War and increased global interdependence between the North and the South. They have also discussed how international normative changes such as democracy's strengthened position in the post-Cold War world and civil society's newfound viability have affected development programs. Some studies have attributed the enhanced attention to democracy and good governance promotion in the 1990s to a general learning curve or better understanding of what local characteristics facilitate development and what IDIs can do to encourage such characteristics.

This project's contribution to the fields of international political economy and development studies is its more distinctive focus on the each of the four institutions mentioned and on how each one's specific programs reflect differences in the power distribution among member states or stakeholders. This provides a richer, more nuanced explanation, as well as a clearer understanding of how IDIs' imminent power structures have and are continuing to influence and shape broader shifts in development thinking.


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