This concluding chapter argues that, during the Cold War, countries in the Global South had played the superpowers off each other, achieving almost unchecked aid during decolonization—but this approach no longer worked. Economists and social scientists attacked the Cold War, claiming that the aid distributed then, while abundant, had been distorted by politics, with negative consequences for national economies. Cold War aid, they said, fostered inefficient distribution, thwarted institutional development in newly independent countries, propped up failed states, and nourished civil wars with weapons and ideology. The book reveals development's many expectations other than humanitarian motives: political loyalty, broader markets, and personal or group legitimacy. It also recounts a plural history, seeing the global history of development as made up of projects with worldwide aspirations but clearly framed for national purposes and within regional dimensions. The image of development as a single design, the concretization of a hegemonic view, a global faith, a center around which global polity is organized, is a simplified representation.
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