The EU as an Aid Donor in the World System: Dominating Power or Equal Partner?

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: In this thesis we examine the EU and its development aid distribution and co-operation with third parties. We have looked closer upon the Union's relations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP), as well as the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC). Our investigation explores how the EU as a donor has handled and affected the development in these regions. We approach this topic by applying the capitalist World-system theory, which divides the countries of the world into three categories: core, periphery and semi-periphery. The EU, being the aid donor, becomes the core. The CEECs represent the semi-periphery and the ACPs are peripheral states. In studying the EU's relations with the external regions, we have found that capitalist explanations provided by the World-system theory are not sufficient enough to explain how these relations have developed. Although the World-system theory explains the world order in mainly capitalist terms, we have come to the conclusion that geographical, historical, and security aspects also contributes in shaping the world. Therefore, the World-system theory is not adequate in explaining international relations in the modern world.

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