David Sogge works as an independent researcher based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In recent years he has published papers commissioned by the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre / Norsk Ressurssenter for Fredsbygging (NOREF) in Oslo. His earlier research on human security and fragile states took place under auspices of the Centre for Social Studies at Coimbra University in Portugal, and the think-tank FRIDE in Madrid. Formally educated at Harvard and Princeton in the US, and the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, the Netherlands, he has worked since 1970 in the foreign aid industry, including assignments for bilateral and multilateral agencies. Since 1993 he has been associated with the Transnational Institute, a worldwide fellowship of scholar activists headquartered in Amsterdam. Among his publications are Compassion and Calculation: The Business of Private Foreign Aid (Pluto Press,1996), and Give and Take. What’s the Matter with Foreign Aid (Zed Books, 2002).
Review of Reclaiming Development: An Alternative Economic Policy Manual by Ha-Joon Chang and Ilene Grabel.
An old yet surprisingly relevant political idea – the social contract — is today making the running in the competitive world of aid and development paradigms.
Talk of ‘human security’ began to be heard soon after the end of the Cold War, amidst rising violence and social breakdown in Eastern Europe and Africa. Its emergence coincided with the rise of stabilization as an aim of Western military doctrine, which accepted the need for legitimizing socioeconomic measures in settings affected by conflict. These policy aims for the military converged with a resurgent paradigm in the aid sector focusing on sustainable human development. For aid and military strategists, that opened up the possibility of ‘capturing the potential peace dividend’.
Norway’s recent international cooperation white paper, Sharing for Prosperity, seems stubbornly non-conformist. For it recommits Norway to some fundamental, if today unfashionable, purposes: for low-income lands, pursuit of growth-with-redistribution and national financial self-reliance…