Political animals: the qualities of successful aid policy entrepreneurs

Crawford School of Public Policy | Development Policy Centre

Event details

Public Seminar

Date & time

Wednesday 29 May 2019


Miller Theatre, Level 2, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Dr Benjamin S. Day


Hanna Selesele
(02) 6125 1592

Why do states redirect their aid policy? And what factors are most important in driving such change? Part of the reason we are not able to answer these questions satisfactorily is because to the role of individual political leaders play in aid policy change has received very little attention.

This seminar presents the findings of research conducted with Dr Joanna Spratt (Oxfam New Zealand and ANU Development Policy Centre) which addresses this oversight by applying the concept of policy entrepreneurs to the issue area of aid policy.

While aid policy entrepreneurs share many of the attributes typical of policy entrepreneurs generally, we find that successful aid policy entrepreneurs are distinctive in two key ways: they possess high levels of political acuity and employ independently-orientated strategies to foster change. In short, political leaders who lead aid policy change are political animals.

Dr Benjamin S. Day is an Associate Lecturer in the Department of International Relations, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at The Australian National University. His current research focuses on understanding the decision-making dynamics that operate in foreign aid.

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