• Maria Kristiansen
  • Lea Langeland Jensen
The purpose of this study has been to examine ‘the great aid debate’ in relation to its discursive elements. Emphasis has been put on the underlying structures of power, identities and ideologies that are shaping the debate, as well as influencing the world in which it exists. This has been done by analyzing the dominant discourse, represented by Jeffrey Sachs and William Easterly. The focus has been on examining ‘the great aid debate’ from a semiotic and critical approach, which puts focus on the power of words in shaping our world. Hence, the focus has been on identifying a ‘social wrong’ with the aim of exploring its position, weaknesses and strengths.

This study contains seven chapters. The first chapter is the introduction, which will outline the main issues of this study and provide an explanation of the motivations for conducting this study. Furthermore, it will present the research question as well as the concept of the ‘social wrong’, which will be the cornerstone of the entire study. The second chapter is on social research considerations. This chapter focuses on outlining the different factors, which have influenced the working process and considerations of all aspects regarding this study. The approach outlined in this section is the ‘realist social constructionism’, which builds a bridge between critical realism and social constructionism. Chapter 3 is the methodology, theory and methods sections. These are all combined as Fairclough refers to a methodology when using DRA rather than a method, because he also views the process as a theoretical one. This includes sections on Critical Discourse Analysis, Fairclough’s Dialectical-Relational Approach and Systemic Functional Linguistics, which will all be applied in the analysis of this study. Chapter 4 contains a historical outline of development aid and ‘the great aid debate’. This includes looking into the history of development aid as well as the main components of what today is known as ‘the great aid debate’. The main reason for incorporating this chapter into the study is to present the contextual matter of the issue as hand. Chapter 5 is the discursive analysis. This chapter features the main analytical part of the study and includes analysis on context of production and social structures of ‘the great aid debate’. Furthermore, it includes interdiscursive and linguistic/semiotic analysis of two of the textual contributions to ‘the great aid debate’: ‘The Case for Aid’ by Jeffrey Sachs and ‘Aid Amnesia’ by William Easterly. These are analyzed to capture the discursive elements that the two writers make use of in the struggle for mobilizing support to their respective standpoints on aid. Chapter 6 contains a discussion on the previous analysis with a focus on ‘the social wrong’ and the possible obstacles it presents. Chapter 7 is the conclusion, which argues how the research question has been answered by outlining the main findings of this study.
Publication date18 Dec 2014
Number of pages104
ID: 207067258