Neocolonialism or Balanced Partnership? The State of Agricultural Trade Between the EU and Africa

Lungu, Ioana (2018) Neocolonialism or Balanced Partnership? The State of Agricultural Trade Between the EU and Africa. Österreichische Gesellschaft für Europapolitik (ÖGFE), Policy Brief 15, 9 p.

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The narratives in the media with respect to EU external policies and their effects on developing countries generally paint a picture of unequal power dynamics and negative externalities, particularly with respect to international trade and land grabbing. In this Policy Brief, I use trade data to argue that reality is more nuanced and aim to provide a preliminary sketch of the institutional dynamics between the EU and Africa.
I focus on agricultural relationships to highlight the interplay between historical path dependencies, colonialism, trade policy and domestic institutions on the EU and African side. While trade is often portrayed in an overly simplified manner as the main factor hindering agricultural development, African countries are often plagued by a long history of extractive institutions, both politically and economically, which lead to a vicious circle of unequally distributed resources, exploitation, insecure human rights and a lack of incentives for innovation. This becomes apparent when examining phenomena such as land-grabbing, which often involves African elites partnering with foreign investors to conclude controversial deals. Overall, this paper aims to highlight the necessity of building institutional capacity, particularly in countries with a long history of extractive institutional continuity, and to underline the importance of state centralisation for agricultural development, so that African partners can fully take advantage of the preferential trade regime with the EU and improve their position with respect to power dynamics.

Item Type: Discussion/ Working Paper (Unspecified)
Additional Information (public): ISSN 2305-2635
Classification Codes (e.g. JEL): O19, O13, O17, O24, Q15, O20
Research Units: Former Research Units (until 2020) > Insight Austria
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2018 07:29
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2023 14:05

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