ODA : official development assistance or opportunity, duty and agenda? : a comparative analysis of Japan and Australia as foreign aid donors in the South Pacific, 1976-2000.
Thesis DisciplinePacific Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Foreign aid has become, since the end of World War II, a powerful and cost-effective foreign policy tool for developed states in their relations with Third World nations. In the context of the South Pacific, Australia and Japan, the region's two largest donors, increased their aid commitments during the 1970s. This was a time of rapid change in the region, characterised by decolonisation and the subsequent arrival of the Cold War. The impact of the latter on aid policy was profound. Both donors, as members of the Western Alliance, increased their aid volumes to the region to counter the perceived threat posed by Soviet inroads. The period between 1976, a time of significant change in the region, and the present day is examined to take into account the influence that the Cold War and its aftermath had on aid patterns. The aid patterns and policies of Japan and Australia are looked at individually during the Cold War period and beyond. A comparison of the two donors follows, which shows the similarities and differences as well as the changes and continuities in their approaches to the region, and the extent to which they have evolved over time. While the thesis is guided by two of only a few comparative analyses of aid donor ambitions, an attempt is made to develop a basis for comparison that takes into account the unique nature of the South Pacific. It is argued throughout that commercial, humanitarian and security dimensions, in addition to the desire to be seen as good international citizens, and a sense of identity with the region, were key determinants of each donor's aid philosophy.