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Global Podd 59. Should we give aid to authoritarian regimes? – Global Bar

May 3, 2021
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This post was first published on Global Bar.

“Should aid be given to authoritarian regimes if they are efficient in reducing poverty? Or do we risk that donor money will keep the dictators in power? The issue of Authoritarian aid is very much in the discussion right now. But what is the right thing to do – Should we stay or should we go when things turn bad?

In articles and in several episodes of Global Podd we have discussed the Swedish aid to authoritarian regimes in Myanmar, Cambodia, Tanzania, Belarus and other countries. As a result of our reporting, Sweden decided last year to close down the support to the regimen in Belarus.

But when can you justify development aid to authoritarian regimes, and when should donors withdraw? How do we decide when to keep relation open as a chance to influence and keep the dialogue ongoing and when should we draw the line and leave? Are we naïve, or just betting against the odds when we invest in countries like Tanzania and Rwanda with the hope to make those regimes change?

These are the topics for the discussion in episode 59 of Global Podd.


  • Nic Cheeseman, professor of democracy at the University of Birmingham, UK, and the author of Authoritarian Africa: Repression, resistance and the power of ideas
  • Jonas Ewald, Researcher and Program Director for the Master’s Program in Peace and Development Work Peace and Development Studies at Linnaeus University in Sweden
  • Göran Holmqvist, Head of Department of Asia and Middle East and Humanitarian Assistance at the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

Moderators: Ylva Bergman and David Isaksson”

Source: Global Podd 59. Should we give aid to authoritarian regimes? – Global Bar