- The Oxford Handbook of French Politics
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Abbreviations
- Notes on Contributors
- A Framework for a Comparative Politics of France
- Republicanism: a transatlantic misunderstanding
- The State Imperative
- The French Welfare System
- Identity, Culture, and Politics: the other and the self in France
- The French Way to Multi-Level Governance: governance with government
- The Europeanization of Public Policy in France: actor-centered approaches
- Globalization: French ambivalence as a critical case
- Executive Politics in France: from leader to laggard?
- Legislative Politics: going international, while staying native
- Constitutional Politics: the French case and theory-building
- Challenges to French Public Administration: mapping the vitality of its knowledge sources
- Regional and Local Government: interpreting territorial politics
- Political Representation: bringing elections back in
- How to Study Political Culture Without Naming It
- Explaining French Elections: the need to meet in the middle
- Parties and Party Systems: making the French sociocultural approach matter
- Political Communication: from international institutionalization to national conquest of scientific legitimacy
- Interest Groups: moving beyond state-centric models
- The Study of Social Movements in France: the “French touch” and a comparative contribution
- Women’s Movements and Feminism: French political sociology meets a comparative feminist approach
- National Identity in France: a blind spot
- French Economic Policy: theory development and the three “I”s
- Environmental and Energy Policy in France: a critical case for comparative political research?
- Gender Policy Studies: distinct, but making the comparative connection
- France and the Evolution of European Integration: the exemplary and pivotal case for broader theories
- Varieties of Capitalism: a distinctly French model?
- Defense and Security Policy: beyond French exceptionalism
- French Aid Through the Comparative Looking Glass: a representative, deviant, or agenda-setting case?
- Toward a Comparative Politics of France
Abstract and Keywords
There is now a vast comparative literature on Northern development assistance, its purposes, composition, structures, motives, and effectiveness. These writings often include French aid within their comparative framework. But they present a mixed picture of the French case, with qualitative studies portraying it as “deviant,” and variable-led analyses viewing it as “representative.” Drawing on specialist interviews, this chapter challenges these comparative perspectives and, at a time when fresh approaches to international development are desperately needed, paves the way for wider consideration of French ideas on aid. It begins with an overview of the comparative literature on Northern aid before reviewing the comparative scholarship on French assistance. It shows how these writings have missed out on the agenda-setting dimension of French aid, notably its capacity to act as a “model” for other donors and lay the groundwork for future comparative research. It concludes by reconciling “conflicting” views of the French case.
Gordon D. Cumming is now Professor of European Affairs and International Development at Cardiff University, having begun his career in the Africa Research Department of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. A fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, he has served as a Professeur Invité at the Centre d’Études d’Afrique Noire, Bordeaux, and at the Institut d’Études Politiques in Lyon. He has published extensively on French, British, and European foreign and development policies as well as on civil society capacity-building. With support from research funding bodies, he has written books including Aid to Africa: French and British Policies from the Cold War to the New Millennium (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001), French NGOs in the Global Era (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2009), and From Rivalry to Partnership?: New Approaches to the Challenges of Africa (edited with Tony Chafer; Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011). He is currently on the Steering Group of Cardiff University’s Phoenix Project and engaged in an ESRC-funded capacity-building project with Welsh development NGOs.
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