On 26 October 2023, Benedict Yiyugsah successfully defended his thesis exploring the extent to which Ghana and Zambia have been able to secure and exercise agency with respect to their broader struggles for development policy autonomy vis–à–vis external pressures.
His research investigated why cash transfers are more susceptible to external influences than agricultural input price subsidies
He challenged the 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 attributed 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 discussed 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.
Photos of the defence
Read Benedict's thesis
Benedict's thesis, 'Bargaining with social protection: The political economy of social protection expansion in Africa in the context of broader struggles for development policy autonomy, will shortly be available for download from the ISS Library