A moral economy approach to Africa-EU ties: the case of the European Investment Bank
journal contributionposted on 2016-02-18, 10:14 authored by Mark C. E. Langan
The European Union's (EU) trade and development ‘partnership’ with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries has long interested scholars of North-South relations. Historically, the theoretical literature on ACP-EU ties has been characterised by liberal institutionalist accounts of interdependence and critical assessments of Europe's neo-colonialism. In the timeframe of the Cotonou Agreement (2000–20), this division has expressed itself in relation to liberal assessments of Europe's pursuit of pro-poor market reforms in the Post-Washington Consensus and critical accounts of Europe's neoliberal ‘development’ agenda. This article argues that a moral political economy offers an innovative lens for the latter critical assessment of ACP-EU ties. With a constructivist focus on Europe's normative ‘development’ agenda, a moral economy standpoint may draw attention to the EU's role in (re)embedding poverty through recourse to legitimating ethical discourse. This is seen to enable the critical school to more closely consider ideational/discursive power in response to contemporary liberal institutionalist accounts. The article focuses on the European Investment Bank (EIB) and its activities in ACP countries – with particular focus on the Bank's Investment Facility (IF) – as an exemplar of the disjuncture between norms and outcomes.
CitationReview of International Studies, 2014, 40(3), pp. 465-485
Author affiliation/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/Department of Politics and International Relations
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)