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The Samoan aidscape : situated knowledge and multiple realities of Japan's foreign aid to Sāmoa
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|Title:||The Samoan aidscape : situated knowledge and multiple realities of Japan's foreign aid to Sāmoa|
|Issue Date:||Dec 2012|
|Publisher:||[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2012]|
|Abstract:||This study is a postmodern geography of foreign aid that explores the Aidscape--multiple realities of aid seen, experienced, and talked about from the viewpoints of donors, recipients, and observers at different scales. It focuses on the flow of bilateral aid from Japan to Sāmoa, an independent nation in the Pacific Islands region. In this dissertation, I ask whether foreign aid merely promotes dependency of recipients when its multidimensional impacts are taken into consideration.|
Among academic observers, critical aid studies view foreign aid as furthering dependency assuming that aid primarily facilitates the donor's interests while undermining the economy, social fabric, and accountability of recipients. Many academic studies debate whether aid is inherently incapable of assisting the development of recipients due to the world system that defines the donor-recipient relation. These views have predicted for some decades now that MIRAB (migration, remittance, aid, and bureaucracy) societies like Sāmoa would continue to struggle with chronic dependency on aid. My study moves beyond this scope of analysis and explores the complexity and interconnectedness of the impacts of aid holistically with the original idea of Aidscape.
Borrowing ideas from Appadurai's "-scape" and Soja's concept of Thirdspace, I coined the term Aidscape to conceptualize foreign aid as a spatial practice that produces culturally hybrid, politically connected, and socially reflexive space composed of constantly changing realities in both lived and imaginary worlds. I use the human geographical concepts of situated knowledge and lifeworld to explore the multiplicity of accounts of aid constituting the Aidscape. With these concepts, the study explores the Samoan Aidscape of aid impacts in overlapping but disjunctive physical, mental, and social spaces at international, national and grassroots levels. In this Samoan Aidcape, I find the coexistence of aid dependency and development. That is, aid helps enhance opportunities of recipients for improvement at national as well as grassroots levels, although it promotes dependency.
This study employs mixed field methods including in-depth interviews, participant observation, and surveys with questionnaires conducted during my fieldwork in Sāmoa in 2006, and interviews with aid officials in Japan in 2007.
|Description:||Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.|
Includes bibliographical references.
|Appears in Collections:||Ph.D. - Geography|
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