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An almost normal donor: Polish foreign aid between national preferences and international obligations

Janulewicz, Lukas Aleksander (2016) An almost normal donor: Polish foreign aid between national preferences and international obligations. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.60673) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:60673)

Language: English

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Scholars of traditional Western donors have frequently asked, 'Why is aid given?' With the emergence of numerous new donors after the end of the Cold War, this question has a new significance. One group of these new donors are the countries of post-communist Central and Eastern Europe. Within the literature that has developed in recent years to analyse their foreign aid programmes, Poland is surprisingly understudied despite being the most significant international actor in the region. This thesis addresses this gap by investigating the origins and development of the Polish foreign aid programme since 1989. This focus on a single country enables a comprehensive longitudinal analysis so far also missing from the literature.

The thesis develops and applies an analytical framework that focuses on the diffusion of international norms and policies into the national policy-making process. Through this framework, the thesis identifies the sources of foreign aid policies, the mechanisms through which sources exerted influence on the policy-making process and Polish opportunities to influence the international agenda. The thesis applies the framework to foreign aid policy-decisions across the post-Cold War period and enables an assessment of the extent to which Poland's 'return to Europe' provided opportunities and constrictions for foreign policy-making. The analytical framework looks beyond the focus on the 'EU factor' prevalent in the CEE donor literature, while maintaining comparability with these studies' findings.

The focus on competing explanations is a central contribution that results in several original findings. The thesis demonstrates the substantial influence of the United States on Polish thinking about aid provision. The evidence also suggests that direct interaction between countries is crucial for the implementation of international norms and policies. Highlighting the importance of interaction between member states contributes a novel perspective not just on EU policy-making about development cooperation, but also on foreign policy. This leads to the conclusion that Poland as a donor has been a 'good pupil of bad behaviour', learning from the examples of traditional donors that non-compliance and national preferences are acceptable. The thesis also introduces the argument that CEE donors are not as different from traditional donors as so far portrayed by the literature. Non-compliance with international commitments is prevalent among Western donors and national foreign-policy considerations motivate their aid flows. However, traditional donors have the advantage that their foreign policy priorities are easier to reconcile with the priorities of development cooperation. The main difference lies in the insufficient domestic capacities of Central and Eastern European donors to use aid as an effective foreign policy tool due to the legacy of the communist era.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Whitman, Richard
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.60673
Additional information: The author of this thesis has requested that it be held under closed access. We cannot give you access, but we have passed your request to the author. 26/10/21
Uncontrolled keywords: Poland Development Cooperation Foreign Policy Post-Communism Global Governance Policy Transfer Norm Diffusion
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2017 16:00 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 12:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Janulewicz, Lukas Aleksander.

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