New Perspectives of International and German Development Policy

In the course of the 1990s development policy has lost some of the significance it has had in international politics. It seems as though, following the end of the East-West conflict, the OECD countries had lost their interest in any deepened cooperation with the developing countries. This finds expression e.g. in spending for development cooperation, which is on the decline worldwide. But the dwindling significance of development policy is not only a pecuniary problem; we are also faced with a lack of future-orientied and innovative forms of cooperation, and there is an pressing need for improvement of the coherence of development policy within the concert of external policies as well as serious efforts aimed at coordinating bi- and multilateral cooperation. We are at the same time experiencing a shift in the demands placed on development cooperation by the developing countries themselves. In the world economy the countries of the South (and the East) see themselves confronted by heightened demands on their institutional, economic, social, and ecological problem-solving capacities; these countries are for this reason increasingly interested in a cooperation that goes beyond the short range, patchy contributions provided by development projects of the classical type. The “donors” have yet to furnish any viable responses to these new demands. It is, in the age of globalization, particularly reckless to neglect development policy. What is needed to lend shape to globalization is a new culture of international cooperation extending far beyond the classical fields of development policy, but one that might well profit from the lessons of development cooperation. How are we to imagine a sustainable development policy under the new Framework conditions? Should such a development policy be geared to the new core areas of international cooperation and seek to provide contributions aimed at designing an architecture of global governance, or should it focus more on poverty alleviation and cooperation with the poorest developing countries? The debate on the future of development policy will have to be conducted a new under the conditions of globalization.


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