Regional and sub-regional effects on development policies

The Benelux and the Nordic countries compared

in Regions and Cohesion
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  • 1 University of Helsinki, Finland lauri.siitonen@helsinki.fi
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Abstract

This is a comparative study of development policy behavior, testing the Europeanization hypothesis and the idea of sub-regional identification. It examines development policies of three Benelux countries and four Nordic countries. The comparison was partly quantitative, drawing from OECD data, and partly qualitative, based on policy analysis of similarities and differences in development policies of the countries under examination. The examination provides some evidence in support of the Europeanization hypothesis as far as the EU goals towards growth in member states’ aid volume and commitment to policy coherence for development were concerned. The alternative explanation was found to be stronger in helping understand performance in multilateral aid and allocation of bilateral aid. Common to the countries under examination is that they approximate a corporatist type of political economy, which helps in understanding identification and norm diffusion within sub-regional schemes. Neither explanation proposed here succeeded in explaining commitment to donor coordination.

Contributor Notes

LAURI SIITONEN is university lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Helsinki and Executive Director, Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC). He has published on development policies of Finland and the EU as well as on Nepal and Tanzania. His doctoral dissertation addressed small donors and aid regime norms. More recently, he has published on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) and acts as the co-coordinator of the RISC Working Group on “Development, Equity and Policy Coherence.” E-mail: lauri.siitonen@helsinki.fi

Regions and Cohesion

Regiones y Cohesión / Régions et Cohésion

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