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Title: Transforming development? : the millennium challenge account and US-Nicaraguan relations
Author: Mais, Tom
ISNI:       0000 0004 2689 2254
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis explores a relatively new and arguably innovative United States (US) international development initiative called the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), which was launched by President Bush in 2004 as his flagship development programme for combating global poverty. Inciting transformational change, both in the delivery of aid and within the recipient countries themselves, lies at the heart of the MCA, which is housed in a new development entity named the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). In-depth semistructured interviews were utilised to facilitate the accumulation of rich and varied data, through which the rhetoric and discourses surrounding the MCA could be' challenged, contested and debated at a variety oflevels. This study critically engages with the MCA to reveal its core motivations and ideological underpinnings, through which we can better understand its origins and potential to deliver sustainable development in the South. In order to do this, specific attention is given to Nicaragua's involvement in the initiative; a country which has played host to a plethora of US foreign policy activities, actions and interventions over the years. An exhaustive exploration of Nicaragua's experience of the MCA is subsequently utilised as a platform for engaging with the core debates and issues surrounding the MCA and development discourse more broadly. In particular, the study's findings critically question the neoliberal model of development being promoted through the MCA and challenge the programme's ability to address the complexities of impoverishment. Part and parcel of this process involves examining the seemingly inseparable marriage between 'democracy' and market liberalisation in development, through which it is argued in this thesis that transnationalliberalism has been extended as the hegemonic ideology of this epoch and a polyarchic system of rule promoted across much of the South.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: United States ; Millennium Challenge Account ; Nicaragua ; Poverty reduction ; Neoliberalism ; Free-Trade ; Democracy ; Polyarchy