Branding Foreign Aid: Soft Power and Popular Attitudes in International Development

Episode 16 of the People, Power, Politics podcast features Prof Matthew Winters as he talks to CEDAR’s Petra Alderman about foreign aid branding

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Why do international donors brand foreign aid? And what impact does it have on popular attitudes towards them? Listen to Matt and Petra as they talk about soft power, foreign aid branding, and popular attitudes towards USAID and Japan in India, Bangladesh, and Uganda. They discuss whether foreign aid branding works and address several tensions linked to this practice, including branding in the context of unequal North-South power relations and colonial legacies.

Listen to the full episode to learn more about:

  • why international foreign aid providers, such as USAID, brand their aid
  • what tensions such branding creates between providers’ soft power needs versus their commitment to local empowerment
  • how branded foreign aid impacts attitudes of populations in recipient countries
  • and much more…

Available now wherever you get your podcasts or visit our CEDAR website.

Further information

People, Power, Politics brings the latest insights into the factors that are shaping - and re-shaping - our political world by talking to leading thinkers from across the globe. Join us to better understand the factors that promote and undermine democratic government around the world and follow us on Twitter at @CEDAR_Bham!

If you would like to speak on the podcast, please contact Petra Alderman at