'Exporting Paradise'? EU Development Policy Towards Afica Since the End of the Cold War

  • Tiago Andrade Faia

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The central aim of the thesis is to define the approach of EU development policy towards Africa since the end of the Cold War. It focuses on the unexplored areas of the available literature on the subject, specifically the impact of EU development policy on the domain of international development and the objective of the EU to become a prominent international actor. The thesis relies on Martha Finnemore’s Social Constructivist research. It concentrates on the dynamics maintained by the EU with the normative basis that characterises the structure and agents of international development, and assesses how it affected EU behaviour, as expressed through its development policy towards Africa in the considered timeframe.1 By doing so, the thesis exposes both the marked effect of EU development policy in the domain of international development, and the form of ‘paradise’ (model of development) the EU promoted in Africa. The empirical support in the thesis is comprised of archived data, official documents, press releases, published reports, speeches, and personally conducted interviews. Following the method of research, the thesis focuses on tracing the norms that characterise EU development policy towards Africa over time. Therein, the thesis largely confirms the identified agents as the source of the norms that define the structure of international development, and the EU as its derivative. It argues that EU development policy is currently a general projection of the normative structure of international development, specifically regarding the policy orientation of its identified agents. As a result, it contends that the EU fell short of its efforts to export its form of ‘paradise’ to Africa in the proposed timeframe as a corollary of its limitations to stand as a distinct and leading actor in the domain of international development. Thus, the thesis makes a fresh contribution to the understanding of EU development policy towards Africa and the objective of the EU to become a prominent international actor in the twenty-first century.
Date of Award1 Sept 2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorSusan Milner (Supervisor), Richard Whitman (Supervisor) & Scott Thomas (Supervisor)


  • international organisations
  • Martha Finnemore
  • social constructivism
  • African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states
  • EU development policy

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