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The new development diplomacy in middle-income countries: the changing role of traditional donors in India

Research reports

Written by Nilima Gulrajani

Hero image description: A visit to an integrated child development services and skills centre in Delhi Image credit:World Bank

Development diplomacy refers to the repurposing of development assistance to service public diplomacy ambitions and aspirations, and simultaneously achieve development goals. While a dual approach like this is not new, the rising power and influence of emerging markets provides the backdrop for Development Assistance Committee donors to reframe their bilateral development cooperation in distinct ways.

This report explores the conceptual and empirical practice of development diplomacy in a single middle-income country. As a large and powerful emerging economy that still faces significant development challenges, India is an important site of contemporary development diplomacy. After presenting our conceptual framework, the report examines factors that enable its application to three bilateral donors (France, UK and Japan) operating in India, and concludes by outlining some of the emerging opportunities and risks deriving from their exercise of development diplomacy.

A visit to an integrated child development services and skills centre in Delhi
Image credit:World Bank
Nilima Gulrajani, Emma Mawdsley and Supriya Roychoudhury