The Slavic and East European Journal vol. Spring, , pp. Janine R. New York: St. In the tradition of the Marshall Plan it was self-evident that the West should help to build up democratic, free-market countries. Collison and Collusion follows the strange and even cynical story of Western aid.

Author:Zologis Kigajar
Language:English (Spanish)
Published (Last):16 April 2019
PDF File Size:20.97 Mb
ePub File Size:15.83 Mb
Price:Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]

The Slavic and East European Journal vol. Spring, , pp. Janine R. New York: St. In the tradition of the Marshall Plan it was self-evident that the West should help to build up democratic, free-market countries. Collison and Collusion follows the strange and even cynical story of Western aid.

Janine Wedel examines the discrepancy between what donors and recipients defined as "Aid. The author goes beyond describing the phases of aid strategies and programs to concentrate on "how aid actually happens" 6 , i. The Central European states are perceived by the West as "model" countries, the first group "to return to Europe" Actually, after the collapse of communism the polarization between East and West assumes different dimensions. The initial phase, "Triumphalism," is soon replaced by a period of "Disillusionment" for both.

Nevertheless, some people realized that "training of the trainers" might be helpful, and the last stage, "Adjustment," took place after a considerable period of learning. Wedel tracks the major approaches of the donors in terms of the relationships between participants and underlines that interactions between both parties are of great importance for the outcome.

In addition, this work follows the language of aid created by the donors and sometimes copied by the recipients. I would confess here that I myself, as an East European, appreciate that contribution of the book very much.

The book consists of six chapters. The first one explores the real encounter between East and West, or the Second and First Worlds- the building of aid agencies and procedures, the gap between real needs, great expectations, and what was done. Chapter two examines the role of technical assistance, a prevailing strategy of donors in achieving their priority goalprivatization of state-owned enterprises.

A myriad of so-called "econolobbyists," the "Marriott Brigade" consultants, and Big Six accounting firms played a pivotal role in cleansing communism.

Chapter three discloses another important trend in aid strategy: giving grants to selected groups of recipients for building up democracy, pluralism, and civil society.

Economic aid to Russia and Ukraine is the subject of the fourth chapter. Petersburg, and the strengthening of the Russian mafia, are treated in detail.

Assisting the development of small and medium-size business and infrastructure is the main issue of the fifth chapter. Four appendixes include seven tables, two maps, and a broad bibliography. The charming cartoons at the beginning of every chapter support some important points. Back to top The principal methodological approaches, defined by Wedel as an "extended case method" and "ethnography across levels and processes" , treat aid as processes of interactions between donors and recipients.

All these concrete interactions are set against the background of the larger systems they represent. The author has consulted many reports, internal memoranda, and evaluations carried out by donors, recipients, and other organizations. This impressive study is the result of ten years of work in the field, including participant observation and more than 1, interviews. She brings in various perspectives to throw light on the aid issue and distinguishes between U.

The former has emphasized the "private sector," while EU programs and most other donors sought government-to-government relationships, recalling more a Third World model of aid implementation. Although Wedel is following a number of individual case studies, she tends to overemphasize the cases of Poland and Russia at the expense of other countries, and the U. The place of aid efforts in the context of nationalist feelings in the recipient countries would be a stimulating issue to consider.

Another question that might be developed in more detail is the relationship not only on the donors-recipients axis, but also among the different levels of local recipients within one country, and in the framework of the other East European countries.

The book should be of value for both general readers and specialists because it covers a very broad range of issues on a large comparative basis. An important contribution is the emphasis in all the phases and levels of the aid story on the political character of technical aid, which often strengthened communist legacies. The combination of easy reading style and creative cartoons is a definite advantage of the book. After closing the book, no reader can remain indifferent.

The paradox is that even with different strategies, aid efforts resulted in less than optimal outcomes. Actually, Western assistance replicated some communist-style patterns. Some readers may insist that this was not a coincidence; others may suggest that the aid story tells us that we need more time to know and understand each other.


Janine R. Wedel

Foreign Service Journal March , p. Janine R. New York: St. Wedel, who interviewed some 1, people, tells her story in plain English, so readers are spared the dense jargon that disfigures too many studies like this one. She reports that in Polish President Lech Walesa pronounced a severe judgment on the Western aid. The institute developed a symbiotic relationship with a group of "reformers" led by Deputy Prime minister Anatoliy Chubais. She concludes that it led to a disaster for U.


A mood of euphoria took hold in the West and in Eastern Europe. Backfired policies But that was before Western governments set their poorly conceived programs in motion. Wedel shows how by mid-decade, Western aid policies had often backfired, effectively discouraging market reforms and sometimes stoking anti-American sentiment. Collision and Collusion is the first book to explain where the Western dollars intended to aid Eastern Europe went, and why they did so little to help. Taking a hard look at the bureaucrats, politicians, and consultants who worked to set up Western economic and political systems in Eastern Europe, the book details the extraordinary costs of institutional ignorance, cultural misunderstanding, and unrealistic expectations. Harvard lawsuit The updated Collision and Collusion is issued at a timely juncture.


Chronicle of Higher Education Nov. Would-be benefactors were eager to tutor these nations in democracy and capitalism. Why has Western aid not been more effective? While policy makers and academics prefer to debate the merits of economic "shock therapy" and to lament the political missteps of post-Communist reformers, a social anthropologist at George Washington University fingers the very process by which assistance has arrived.

Related Articles