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Title: Power, policy and discourse : a comparative analysis of the neoliberal turn in three former French colonies
Author: Thiery, Harriet
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 7324
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis examines the role of the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) in the development of three former French colonies. Comparing the experiences of Chad, Côte d’Ivoire and Haiti, it explores the ways in which the development trajectory of postcolonial countries has been shaped by international institutions and neoliberal ideology. It does this by examining two key periods of development lending: structural adjustment and poverty reduction strategies. Adopting a neo-Gramscian theoretical approach, this study understands neoliberalism as an ideological hegemonic project as well as a development paradigm. It examines both the practical content of the programmes, and the discourse, borrowing methodological insight from Critical Discourse Analysis. The findings reveal important trends across the case studies and over time and are therefore both spatially and temporally significant. Over the thirty-year period, the World Bank and the IMF imposed a common neoliberal policy matrix, which centred on austerity, export markets, deregulation and privatisation. The SAPs undermined the sovereignty of the state, deepened dependency and impeded economic and social development. The poverty reduction strategies, in spite of claims of country-ownership and participation, continued to adhere to the neoliberal formula. Only the discourse evolved, co-opting counter-hegemonic ideals in order to legitimise the further embedding of the neoliberal agenda and the entrenchment of poverty. The approach sheds light upon the interactive relationship between policy, power and discourse, demonstrating how the dynamics of power in these three countries are both coercive and consensual. I argue that the conceptual premise and operational framework of international development reflects continuity with the imperial legacy of circumscribed sovereignty. In this sense, the neoliberal development project is understood a form of neo-colonial control.
Supervisor: Watt, Sophie ; Burchell, Jon ; Small, Audrey Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available