Haley J. Swedlund, The Development Dance: How Donors and Recipients Negotiate the Delivery of Foreign Aid

Date01 July 2020
Published date01 July 2020
AuthorSilvia Tieri
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Reviews 319
The author has also narrated many interesting stories of their personal and
official links with Indian leaders such as Jayaprakash Narayan, George Fernandes
and Indira Gandhi. Bruno Kreisky was concerned when Jayaprakash Narayan
was imprisoned in 1975 during the emergency. He also supported him financially
when he needed regular dialysis for his kidney failure. All three leaders had good
relations with Indira Gandhi. During the emergency, they did not criticize her
publicly. However, jointly they wrote to her when George Fernandes was arrested
on criminal charges. They appealed to her to free him from detention, for which
she wrote back an angry letter. Following her defeat in 1977, she continued to be
in touch with these leaders. When Pakistan’s Zulifkar Ali Bhutto was sentenced
to death, she wrote to Kreisky to use his influence and persuade Pakistan’s
government to show leniency. Later, when she was facing many charges in India,
she also wrote to him. Professor Vivekanandan’s accounts are mainly limited to
the emergency period. It would have been useful to see many interesting accounts
of Olof Palme’s personal connections with Rajiv Gandhi and the whole
controversy surrounding the Bofors gun. Both Bruno Kreisky and Olof Palme
were awarded Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1983
and 1986 respectively by the Indian government. When Olof Palme was
assassinated, the Indian government had declared a day of mourning.
The book shows how three prominent socialist democrats, who were leaders at
the same time in three different European democracies, had a profound impact on
a range of policies. This include international peace, disarmament, common
security, East–West divide, apartheid, Arab-Israeli conflict, North–South relations
and meaningful development cooperation. Their vision had both European as well
as global dimensions, which were inseparable from each other. The book is a must
read for all willing to understand rich secular, socialist and liberal intellectual
traditions of Europe, in which Scandinavia has played a very significant role.
Gulshan Sachdeva
Professor & Chairperson
Centre for European Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Email: gulshanjnu@gmail.com
Haley J. Swedlund, The Development Dance: How Donors and
Recipients Negotiate the Delivery of Foreign Aid (Ithaca, NY: Cornell
University Press, 2017), 202 pp. US$95.00, ISBN 978-1-5017-1287-6
DOI: 10.1177/0020881720925216
At a time when foreign aid is widely practised by both mainstream and emerging
powers in a myriad of ways, the literature on the subject is becoming vast.
Focusing on ‘how donors and recipients negotiate the delivery of foreign aid’, The
Development Dance carves for itself a place within such literature asking a simple
yet novel question.

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