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Merging Development and Diplomacy (coming 2025)

The rise of new global challenges has prompted politicians all over the world to dramatically re-think approaches to international policy. In some wealthy donor countries, these shifts have amounted to major bureaucratic changes. A trend that began in the late 1990s solidified, when, in 2020, the United Kingdom merged its Department for International Development and Foreign & Commonwealth Office, joining Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark and New Zealand in building one large bureaucracy for global affairs. These mergers, or the formation of large global affairs “megabureaucracies,” are marketed as an opportunity for governments to better respond to connected security and development challenges. They have, however, had mixed effects. In fact, the evidence explored in this book indicates that these mergers often fail to live up to the promises politicians make. Considering new global developments such as COVID-19, the Ukraine crisis, rising tensions between China and Western donor countries, and other contemporary global challenges, what is driving the race for bureaucratic reform, what have been the lessons from these countries' experiences, and how can countries innovate their bureaucratic approaches to truly respond to complex and connected global challenges?


This book explores how aid and foreign policy bureaus are adapting to face evolving global challenges where security and development challenges connect, and discusses the implications for diplomatic engagement and foreign affairs agendas in today’s shifting international landscape.

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