SIDA VID SIDA? : Svenska företag i biståndsverksamheten, 1946–2013
Sammanfattning: This thesis studies how the way private businesses were viewed came to affect their participation, and thus role, in Swedish development aid activities in the 1946-2013 period. The role is here viewed in terms of the relationship between “the public” and “the private”. The relationship between public and private activities, as well as the distinction between them, is mutable, and needs to be understood within the framework of a specific context. This, in turn, means that these relationships between the state, in the form of public activity, and the businesses, in the form of private activity, constitute the more comprehensive research problem of the thesis. The analytical strategy of the thesis is based on a discourse theoretical approach, discursive institutionalism, to study how development aid, based on the ideal of “solidarity”, was formulated, established and upheld as an area of policy, focusing especially on the role that was concurrently created for Swedish private businesses. The application of a genealogical approach in the reading of political texts as well as archival material, reports and evaluations, makes visible how the businesses have been part of the Swedish developmental aid activities during practically the entirety of the time period studied, and that this has not been openly accounted for in the public political material. The study shows that upholding the ideal of the “solidarity-based” politics regarding development aid was enabled by applying different logics of action to different parts of the development aid activity. This is made clear by the political ability to involve businesses in development aid activities without having to expressly renounce the position of solidarity. The result of the thesis also shows that the ideal of “solidarity” influenced both the preconditions for distinctions between public and private, and how views of businesses as illegitimate or legitimate actors in development aid activity changed over time.
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