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Jennifer Brinkerhoff Lecture

Jennifer Brinkerhoff

George Washington University

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PAIS DEPARTMENTAL SEMINAR SERIES, 2013-14
Wednesday 8th January 4.00-5.30pm
Room S0.18 Social Sciences

Pre-seminar tea from 3.30pm in the foyer outside of the seminar room. All Welcome

Professor Jennifer Brinkerhoff is specialist in international development, governance, public-private partnerships, NGOs, and diaspora politics. Her publications include six books, three co-edited journal issues, and over fifty articles and book chapters on topics ranging from policy evaluation, to NGOs, failed states, governance, diaspora identity, development, and citizenship. She is the author of Digital Diasporas: Identity and Transnational Engagement (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Partnership for International Development: Rhetoric or Results? (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002); the editor of Diasporas and Development: Exploring the Potential (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2008); and co-editor of NGOs and the Millennium Development Goals: Citizen Action to Reduce Poverty (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2007).

Her PAIS Departmental talk will be based on her new book, currently under review. This book analyzes the role of diaspora entrepreneurs in catalyzing economic, social, and political reforms for development in their countries of origin, and explores what she calls “the In-Between Advantage.” An enduring dilemma for international donors has been how to support reforms that bring about sustainable change; current policies stress country ownership and integration with local systems and contexts. Yet the donors’ reform partners, decision-makers in developing countries, are embedded in existing institutions; they often have difficulty envisioning and/or promoting institutional reforms, and may adopt the visible trappings of reforms without actually implementing them to achieve their intended function. Who, then, has the “right stuff” to catalyze institutional reform?