This thesis explores the extent to which international aid policies are informed by geopolitical imaginations. Based on an analysis of contemporary development programmes for post-Soviet Russia, the study examines two aid organizations working in Russia, and the varying degree to which issues of geopolitics underwrite their practice. The thesis demonstrates the inherent relationship between geopolitical imaginations and development strategies, as argued by Slater (1993) and Toal (1994). Drawing on Agnew (1998) it examines the universalisms and Occidental assumptions that characterize the modern geopolitical imagination and have led to calls for its revision. It concludes that geopolitical imaginations underpin much aid discourse and policy, hindering the development of effective strategies that respond to the needs of specific contexts in a shifting, multi-polar world order, and calls for greater critical evaluation with respect to the international aid discourse
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