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Critical perspective on security and development policies

While most donors and international development agencies have taken the security-development agenda on board and are implementing numerous development strategies with the goal of establishing stability, others have questioned the causal link between security and development.

In particular, there has been a growing concern about a politicisation of aid, since the events of 9/11. The fear is that the rhetoric and the concerns around the threat of terrorism ‘annex’ not only the language but also the budget of aid and development. A number of commentators worry that donors and development agencies will subordinate the values, objectives, political space as well as the instruments for development cooperation to narrowly defined foreign policy objectives, in particular the fight against terrorism. This, it is argued, could lead to a loss of a true commitment to development. In that context concerns have also been raised about the allocation of aid money on the basis of developing countries opposing terrorism and committing themselves to terrorism prevention and a range of military activities. This could result in a failure to address the real issues of poverty, and could lead to an intensification of terrorism. Recommended reading...