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The Normative distinctiveness of the European Union in international development stepping out of the shadow of the world bank?

Jan Orbie (UGent) , Fabienne Bossuyt (UGent) , Petra Debusscher (UGent) , Sarah Delputte (UGent) , Vicky Reynaert (UGent) and Joren Verschaeve (UGent)
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Abstract
This paper seeks to contribute to the debate on the European Union (EU)’s distinctiveness as an international actor. In particular, it examines whether there is anything distinctive about the international development norms promoted by the EU. Previous studies have indicated that in the field of development policy the EU is predominantly a ‘norm taker’, meaning that it has to a large extent translated development aid norms originating from other donors, including the World Bank, into its own development policies. However, in recent years the EU has arguably become a more mature, ambitious and professionalized development actor, which explicitly aims to take the lead on the international development front. Therefore, this paper assesses whether the EU is still taking on development aid norms originating from the World Bank, generally considered a leader in international development thinking, influencing many other donors, including the EU. The paper does so by focusing on the development areas of governance, aid effectiveness and the social dimension of development. Importantly, the paper situates ‘norms’ at the specific level of ‘policy ideas’ (as opposed to ‘programmatic’ and ‘philosophical’ ideas), since normative differences between the EU and the World Bank – if any – might be translated differently by the two actors. Accordingly, the paper hypothesizes that both substantially and procedurally the EU has been stepping out of the shadow of the World Bank. Based on the findings presented in the paper, it appears that in the three areas studied the EU has effectively made a shift away from being a pure norm-taker from the World Bank, and towards becoming a more distinctive development actor, at least to some extent. Indeed, the paper finds that since the 2000s the EU and the World Bank have increasingly developed a different interpretation of the concepts of governance and aid effectiveness and the social dimension of development, both in terms of substance and procedure.
Keywords
cerise

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MLA
Orbie, Jan et al. “The Normative Distinctiveness of the European Union in International Development Stepping Out of the Shadow of the World Bank?” EUSA Conference, Proceedings. 2013. Print.
APA
Orbie, J., Bossuyt, F., Debusscher, P., Delputte, S., Reynaert, V., & Verschaeve, J. (2013). The Normative distinctiveness of the European Union in international development stepping out of the shadow of the world bank? EUSA conference, Proceedings. Presented at the EUSA conference.
Chicago author-date
Orbie, Jan, Fabienne Bossuyt, Petra Debusscher, Sarah Delputte, Vicky Reynaert, and Joren Verschaeve. 2013. “The Normative Distinctiveness of the European Union in International Development Stepping Out of the Shadow of the World Bank?” In EUSA Conference, Proceedings.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Orbie, Jan, Fabienne Bossuyt, Petra Debusscher, Sarah Delputte, Vicky Reynaert, and Joren Verschaeve. 2013. “The Normative Distinctiveness of the European Union in International Development Stepping Out of the Shadow of the World Bank?” In EUSA Conference, Proceedings.
Vancouver
1.
Orbie J, Bossuyt F, Debusscher P, Delputte S, Reynaert V, Verschaeve J. The Normative distinctiveness of the European Union in international development stepping out of the shadow of the world bank? EUSA conference, Proceedings. 2013.
IEEE
[1]
J. Orbie, F. Bossuyt, P. Debusscher, S. Delputte, V. Reynaert, and J. Verschaeve, “The Normative distinctiveness of the European Union in international development stepping out of the shadow of the world bank?,” in EUSA conference, Proceedings, Baltimore, USA, 2013.
@inproceedings{6926287,
  abstract     = {This paper seeks to contribute to the debate on the European Union (EU)’s distinctiveness as an international actor. In particular, it examines whether there is anything distinctive about the international development norms promoted by the EU. Previous studies have indicated that in the field of development policy the EU is predominantly a ‘norm taker’, meaning that it has to a large extent translated development aid norms originating from other donors, including the World Bank, into its own development policies. However, in recent years the EU has arguably become a more mature, ambitious and professionalized development actor, which explicitly aims to take the lead on the international development front. Therefore, this paper assesses whether the EU is still taking on development aid norms originating from the World Bank, generally considered a leader in international development thinking, influencing many other donors, including the EU. The paper does so by focusing on the development areas of governance, aid effectiveness and the social dimension of development. Importantly, the paper situates ‘norms’ at the specific level of ‘policy ideas’ (as opposed to ‘programmatic’ and ‘philosophical’ ideas), since normative differences between the EU and the World Bank – if any – might be translated differently by the two actors. Accordingly, the paper hypothesizes that both substantially and procedurally the EU has been stepping out of the shadow of the World Bank.
Based on the findings presented in the paper, it appears that in the three areas studied the EU has effectively made a shift away from being a pure norm-taker from the World Bank, and towards becoming a more distinctive development actor, at least to some extent. Indeed, the paper finds that since the 2000s the EU and the World Bank have increasingly developed a different interpretation of the concepts of governance and aid effectiveness and the social dimension of development, both in terms of substance and procedure.},
  author       = {Orbie, Jan and Bossuyt, Fabienne and Debusscher, Petra and Delputte, Sarah and Reynaert, Vicky and Verschaeve, Joren},
  booktitle    = {EUSA conference, Proceedings},
  keywords     = {cerise},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Baltimore, USA},
  pages        = {29},
  title        = {The Normative distinctiveness of the European Union in international development stepping out of the shadow of the world bank?},
  year         = {2013},
}