Walter P. Dawson


This study sought to examine bilateral aid agency actors and their aid policies as they might be affected by political changes in Cambodia as a recipient country to examine processes of globalization in terms of policy convergence or divergence in relation to the two dominant sociological theories in the field of comparative education: Neo-Institutional Theory and Systems Theory. Policy documents, aid agency press releases, and wider media coverage were analyzed to test these two theories. It was found that Asian aid agencies did not converge in aid policy with Western aid agencies which have sought to reduce aid and limit trade with Cambodia as a result of the 2017 changes in the Cambodian political system. The Asian aid agencies do not display isomorphic convergence as predicted by Neo-Institutional Theory, and conversely prioritized their own geopolitical context in formulating aid policy with economic and political dimensions which reflected broader international relations considerations as predicted by Systems Theory. Further research will be required as these aid directives are translated into actual policy and project implementation to examine these theories in the next stage of this research project.


Cambodia, aid, politics, donor agencies, ODA

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