Aid Transparency in the Making: What Compliance with the International Aid Transparency Initiative Reveals About Ideational Dynamics in the Aid and Development Regime

Aileen Körfer, Teresa Lappe-Osthege, Klaus Röhrig

Abstract


Drawing on ideational underpinnings of Social Constructivism, we perceive transparency as a norm in the aid and development regime. To establish this perception we refer to Cortell’s and Davis’ outline of the emergence of norms in domestic systems. We focus on the stage of institutionalization, i.e. the incorporation of ideational principles into formal institutions, as the IATI is considered as an institutionalized form of transparency in this context, but still assign great importance to the discourse employed in this specific stage (Cortell and Davis, 2000). These theoretical foundations allow for the application of Mitchell’s Model of Balanced Demand and Supply of Information. According to this model, a balance between the demand and supply of information proves decisive for the transparency of a regime, the very fact of which functions as an indicator for the regime’s success (Mitchell, 1998). Placing transparency in its ideational understanding within the realm of Mitchell’s model allows us not only to assess the success of the IATI in the wider aid and development regime, but also to contribute to the adaption of the model to the contemporary ideational dynamics.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26481/marble.2013.v2.141

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