PhD defence by Benedict Yiyugsah

Bargaining with social protection: The political economy of social protection expansion in Africa in the context of broader struggles for development policy autonomy
ISS rector's chain
PhD student
Benedict Yiyugsah
Thursday 26 Oct 2023, 16:00 - 18:00
PhD defence
Spoken Language
Aula B and livestream
International Institute of Social Studies
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Benedict Yiyugsah

On 26 October 2023, Benedict Yiyugsah will defend his thesis exploring the extent to which Ghana and Zambia have been able (or not) to secure and exercise agency with respect to their broader struggles for development policy autonomy vis–à–vis external pressures.

His research focuses on the question: why are cash transfers more susceptible to external influences than agricultural input price subsidies?

He challenges the seeming twin consensus in the literature that has largely held up the rise of Ghana’s LEAP and Zambia’s unified SCTs as the strong example of the primacy of domestic politics as well as soft forms of external influences.

Instead, he attributes their rise to the primacy of 'hard', yet discreet, forms of external influences, which were exercized within the context of a new structure of liberal aid governmentality. He discusses the co-optive measures by which both countries internalized external agents' mentality through a complex process of change that further involved the use of complementary institutional dimensions such as donors' administrative methods of surveillance and monitoring, that governed the practices of aid delivery.

Watch Benedict's defence live

 defence by Benedict Yiyugsah

PhD defence by Benedict Yiyugsah

Doctoral Board


Professor Peter Knorringa

Doctoral dissertation supervisor

Professor Andrew Fischer
Dr Charmaine Ramos, Utrecht University

Full Doctoral Committee

  • Professor Jimi Adesina, College of Graduate Studies University of South Africa UNISA
  • Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana

  • Professor Dzodzi Tsikata, SOAS, University of London

  • Professor Wil Hout, ISS

  • Professor Shuaib Lwasa, ISS

More information

The ceremony will begin promptly at 16:00 hrs in the ISS auditorium (Aula B) of the ISS, Kortenaerkade 12, The Hague. The doors will be closed after the start of the Public Defence, but will be briefly opened after the candidate’s introduction to allow latecomers to enter.

Children under 7 years old are not allowed in the Aula during the first part of the ceremony.

The ceremony will be followed by a reception in the Atrium of the ISS.

Professors are invited to join the academic procession.

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