PhD research: The New European Financial Architecture for Development: Financialization of EU Aid?

November 2021 to October 2025
development (aid)
European Union
development finance institutions
Research fields
Law and Political Science

Although a strong belief in the potential of private capital to finance development has come to prevail, there is a remarkable lack of research on the extent to which it has shaped European development policy. The European Union (EU) is carrying out an extensive, long-awaited, reform of its Financial Architecture for Development, thereby turning to new financial instruments. These reforms appear to reflect the emergence of a new global consensus on development policy, labeled the ‘Wall Street Consensus’. This PhD examines to what extent both the resources and imbursement of EU aid are financialized by (1) proposing a theoretically informed and operationalized framework for studying the financialization of aid, and (2) providing a comprehensive application onto EU aid by examining decisions in Europe and impact in developing countries in the period 2019-2024. This will be achieved through four empirical studies which together comprise the backbone of EU development policy and its possible financialization: ranging from ‘resource’ decisions in Europe, to ‘imbursement’ decisions on the ground. The methodology involves mixed methods and mostly qualitative analysis, although some quantitative data will also be examined. This encompassing approach will lead to innovative findings on an understudied research topic, facilitate further empirical and theoretical research, and contribute to wider societal debates on the increasingly relevant phenomenon of financialization of aid.