From ad hoc to durable? Development cooperation and institutional bricolage in the cotton sector in Benin

Gomes Moreira, Alvaro (2021) From ad hoc to durable? Development cooperation and institutional bricolage in the cotton sector in Benin. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis is about the history of development encounters in the cotton sector in Benin. It
presents a perspective that is centred on the long durée of the host context instead of the
short-lived and specific experiences of each cotton project. I substantiate this change of
perspective by addressing the following question: how has the cotton sector in Benin come
to incorporate the institutional arrangements of development cooperation projects into
enduring institutions? This thesis contends that development projects, although temporary
and specific, are inserted into a historical continuum that has regularised development
cooperation practices over time, and that is perpetuated by both implementers and hosts.
Thus, while a project in isolation appears to be unable to change the wider structure and
practices, successive processes of institutional bricolage with project components may.
In the first three chapters, I describe the learning journey that led me to my research question
and outline its relevance to contemporary debates on development. I go on to detail the
conceptual framework and research methods. In the third chapter, I define the boundaries
of my research, situating it in the history of Benin’s cotton sector since independence in 1960
until 2018. I identify the successive waves of development assistance projects taking place
over this period. In chapters four to seven, I examine how development cooperation projects
have shaped the structure and practices both of subsequent projects and of the cotton sector
itself. The conclusion discusses and reviews my findings in light of my research question. It
appears that institutional bricolage with projects’ institutional arrangements is a process
shaped by power relations in which early experiences have particular weight. This research
shows that the way projects work depends on their place in the historical trajectory of
development cooperation in the host context. It thus contributes to our understanding of
how projects work in a certain way and in a particular moment in time.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: Institute of Development Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD0072 Economic development. Development economics. Economic growth
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD9000 Special industries and trades > HD9720 Manufacturing industries > HD9850 Textile industries
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2021 10:46
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2021 10:46
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/100723

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