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Title: Aid for trade as contested state building intervention : the cases of Laos and Vietnam
Author: Schippers, Lan Katharina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 6928
Awarding Body: Queen Mary University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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The thesis analyses the provision of "Aid for Trade" as a specific form of state building intervention (SBI) in Laos and Vietnam, two countries that have received trade-related assistance as part of their global economic integration. The thesis uncovers how global economic and institutional reform agendas related to trade integration are accepted or contested within both states, as part of a highly political process characterised by strategic agency and structural selectivities of various actors involved. The thesis employs a theoretical framework to help analyse how global trade governance programmes intervene within targeted states, and how local socio-political contestation shapes the outcomes of such programmes. Drawing on Marxist state theory, SBIs are understood as contested processes which open up strategic opportunities for social forces to shape the transformation process and thereby to stabilise or challenge existing power relations. Special attention is directed towards the state as an arena of conflict in order to understand the specific forms and varying results that these interventions take. This framework allows us to grasp how dominant social forces within the Laotian and Vietnamese forms of state are able to modify or circumvent external reform imperatives, resulting in highly selective changes in trade governance, which often departs from the intention of "Aid for Trade" project managers. The thesis thereby changes conventional technocratic assumptions that believe that aid interventions are a matter of best practice and contributes to a growing research agenda which analyses development interventions within the wider political economy of the targeted state.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: QMUL
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Laos ; Vietnam ; contested state building intervention ; politics and international relations ; trade-related assistance