Branding Foreign Aid: Soft Power and Popular Attitudes in International Development


Why do international donors brand foreign aid? And what impact does it have on popular attitudes towards them? Join Matthew Winters and Petra Alderman as they talk about soft power, foreign aid branding, and popular attitudes towards USAID and Japan in India, Bangladesh, and Uganda. They discuss whether foreign aid branding works and address several tensions linked to this practice, including branding in the context of unequal North-South power relations and colonial legacies.

Matthew Winters is Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois and a recent holder of the Fulbright-University of Birmingham Distinguished Scholar Award at the International Development Department at the University of Birmingham.

Petra Alderman is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Leadership for Inclusive and Democratic Politics at the University of Birmingham and Research Fellow at CEDAR.

The People, Power, Politics podcast brings you the latest insights into the factors that are shaping and re-shaping our political world. It is brought to you by the Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability and Representation (CEDAR) based at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. Join us to better understand the factors that promote and undermine democratic government around the world and follow us on X (Twitter) at @CEDAR_Bham!

Your Host

Petra Alderman

Petra Alderman (prev. Desatova) is an associate researcher at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and a post-doctoral research fellow at the International Development Department at the University of Birmingham. Her research interests lie in the area of authoritarian legitimation, electoral studies and promotional politics. Her regional focus is on Southeast Asia and has a particular expertise on Thailand.

View Profile