In: M. Somasundaram, ed. The Third Wave, Governance and Public Administration in Sri Lanka. New Delhi:ICES/Konark Publishers.
The focus of this paper is what can be called a "new consensus"1 on development assistance that has emerged among OECD countries, of which the notion of "good governance" is a part. In a forward to a very recent publication of the OECD titled "Participatory Development and Good Governance", the chair of the Development Assistance Committee of OECD states that, "A broad consensus is emerging on a coherent model for sustainable development. While specific application will vary with local conditions, the model is characterised by an integrated process of political and economic stability, good governance, popular participation, investing in people, reliance on market forces, concern for the environment and a vigorous private sector." 2 The document that follows spells out in much more detail the principal elements of this new consensus of development, and it includes notions of participatory development, democratisation, good governance, and human rights, in addition to promoting markets.
There is no doubt that this consensus on development assistance has the twin objectives of promoting a market economy and a liberal representative democracy. It is a consensus that has evolved to promote structures and institutions of a capitalist social formation. After the momentous changes in Eastern Europe and the collapse of the Soviet Union, liberalism in economics, as well as in politics, has become the dominant ideology. As argued by "world system" theorists, this has become the single dominant reality covering the entire world. What is happening through development assistance is the promotion of various elements of this dominant liberal ideology in developing countries through foreign aid. Any discussion of individual elements of this consensus on development assistance needs to take into account not only this overall context, but also to look at the inter-relationships between these elements. This will be the approach taken in this paper when looking at the notion of "governance" or "good governance"3, which forms one element of this consensus.
The politics of foreign Aid in Sri Lanka
(2007) Politics of foreign aid in Sri Lanka, Promoting markets and supporting peace. Colombo: International Centre for Ethnic Studies.
Devolution and Development in Sri Lanka
(1994) Editor, Devolution and Development. New Delhi: Konark Publishers.
Sustaining a state in conflict: Politics of foreign aid in Sri Lanka, Colombo:ICES, (2018)
This study focuses on politics of foreign aid to Sri Lanka from developed countries of the West, Japan and multilateral agencies during the period 1977 to end of the armed conflict in 2009. This period is characterised by economic policies that emphasised liberal economic policies and an armed conflict resulting from the Tamil demand for a separate state. The study looks at politics of foreign aid in this context. Foreign aid played a dual role. It helped to sustain a state engaged in an armed conflict, while at the same time trying to promote a negotiated settlement. Therefore it was neither a do-gooder that liberals tend to believe nor a 'foreign devil that Sinhala nationalists like to see.
Can democracy be designed?
(2003) Co-editor, Can Democracy be Designed? London: Zed Books.
State formation - key ideas (2021)
Results of LG Election in February 2018 (2018)
(2011) Politics of market reforms and UNF-led negotiations.
(1997) The “New” Consensus in Development Assistence, Good Governance and Civil Society Politics.
Copyright @ 2023 Sunil Bastian.