Economy, France

Fellowship : October 2018 to December 2018

Discipline(s) : Political economy

Pays : France

Research project : Development aid and the formation of Hun Sen’s regime (1993-2017)

The research project aims at clearing up the apparent paradox of the installation and reinforcement of an authoritarian and predatory regime in a country (Cambodia) where a peace keeping operation regarded as successful was deployed, and which was granted very important aid transfers supposed to establish a “market democracy”. The tested hypothesis will be the instrumentalization of traditional aid in a context marked by the rising importance of new donors (China first) and foreign investment. To that end, the analysis will follow two paths:

– Context and actors’ interactions (periodisation of aid, analysis of sequences of aid suspension and resumption and shifts in donors’ discourses and strategies, analysis of the place taken by aid in Cambodia’s domestic political debates);

– Arrangements, tools and their sectorial use (implementation of the Paris Declaration, recourse to new aid modalities such as output based aid and cash transfers, use of aid in fields hitherto largely neglected such as heritage conservation, demobilisation, international trade promotion…).


François Giovalucchi was born in 1955 and graduated from IEP Paris and University Paris X (Master in international economics and finance). He held positions of responsibility in France and abroad, for the French Development Agency and the French Treasury. He taught classes at IEP. Simultaneously, he conducted research activities. Through a political economy approach, he tried to analyse the tools (logframe method), the international goals (MDGs then SDGs) or the concepts (resilience) of overseas development assistance by striving to show their implicit ideological content, the posture of donors towards beneficiary countries that they reveal, and the modes of governing and public action that they imply. His work has led to a characterisation of ODA as a reform tool availing itself of a pure technicity, marked by the denial of politics, and carrying an expansion of neoliberal governmentality. It emphasized the fact that donors’ goals very often differ significantly from those of beneficiaries.

Major publications

LEABA, Oscar (pseudonyme). La crise centrafricaine de l’été 2001, Politique africaine, 4/2001 (n° 84), p.163-175.

EGIL François (avec Gilles CARASSO-pseudonyme). Les éléphants de papier- Réflexions impies pour le Ve anniversaire des objectifs de développent du millénaire, Politique africaine, 3/2005 (n° 99), p. 97-115.

GIOVALUCCHI François, OLIVIER de SARDAN Jean-Pierre. Planification, gestion et politique dans l’aide au développement : le cadre logique, outil et miroir des développeurs, Revue Tiers Monde, 2/2009 (n° 198), p. 383-406.

GIOVALUCCHI, François. Résilience, résistance ou changement ? A propos de quelques écueils d’un paradigme naissant de l’aide au développement, in. CHATAIGNIER Jean-Marc (dir.), Fragilités et résilience. Les nouvelles frontières de la mondialisation, Paris, Karthala, 2014, p.115-131.

EGIL François (avec Gilles CARASSO-pseudonyme) Les Objectifs de développement durable, nouveau " palais de cristal " ?, Politique africaine, 4/2015 (n° 140), p. 99-120.