International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

The Paternalistic Assumptions in the Narrative of International Aid: An Historical Overview
Alessio Maria Musella, Lucrezia Alberti Corseri

This paper intends to provide an enriched understanding of the paternalistic assumptions in the narrative of international aid. The starting point for the analysis is to define the concept of Paternalism, looking at the distinction between rigid and weak condescendence. The paper then discusses the elements of hard Paternalism in how traditional development aid works. As will be discussed in detail, the most prevalent recurring elements of hard Paternalism are the representation of aid-receivers and aid-providers in aid agencies campaigns. The presence of top-down initiatives with little participation of aid-receivers, as exemplified by the conditionality of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans and standardised funding procedures that negate both accountability and a genuine relationship of equality between international aid-providers and aid-receivers. Starting from these hypotheses, the authors will demonstrate that international aid’s paternalistic system is problematic from a deontological and consequentialist perspective through a qualitative approach to the existing literature. As a result, the paper will present innovative solutions to respond to the poor’s plight more effectively, accountable, and sustainable.

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