The Normative Distinctiveness of the European Union in International Development: Stepping Out of the Shadow of the World Bank?

Publication Date: 
09 June 2017
Publisher: 
Wiley
Publication Language: 
EN
Appearing in: 
Development Policy Review
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
4
Pages: 
493-511
Abstract: 

Although the EU has shown a strong ambition to put a distinctive stamp on the international aid agenda over the past 15 years, it has also been pointed out that its policies suffer from a series of collective action problems. This article explores how both relate to one another. This article examines the EU's normative distinctiveness in contrast to the World Bank, focusing on policy norms in the field of governance, aid effectiveness and social development. We argue that collective action problems do not necessarily hamper EU distinctiveness: they are also a symptom of a strong EU desire to pressure European actors to come up with norms that pacify disagreements.