Foreign Aid: Diplomacy, Development, Domestic Politics

University of Chicago Press
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A twentieth-century innovation, foreign aid has become a familiar and even expected element in international relations. But scholars and government officials continue to debate why countries provide it: some claim that it is primarily a tool of diplomacy, some argue that it is largely intended to support development in poor countries, and still others point out its myriad newer uses. Carol Lancaster effectively puts this dispute to rest here by providing the most comprehensive answer yet to the question of why governments give foreign aid. She argues that because of domestic politics in aid-giving countries, it has always been—and will continue to be—used to achieve a mixture of different goals.

Drawing on her expertise in both comparative politics and international relations and on her experience as a former public official, Lancaster provides five in-depth case studies—the United States, Japan, France, Germany, and Denmark—that demonstrate how domestic politics and international pressures combine to shape how and why donor governments give aid. In doing so, she explores the impact on foreign aid of political institutions, interest groups, and the ways governments organize their giving. Her findings provide essential insight for scholars of international relations and comparative politics, as well as anyone involved with foreign aid or foreign policy.

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About the author

Carol Lancaster is associate professor in the Edmund A. Waslh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and director of the Mortara Center for International Studies. She is the author of Aid to Africa, also published by the University of Chicago Press, a coauthor of Organizing U.S. Foreign Aid: Confronting the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century, and a former deputy administrator of USAID.

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Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Sep 15, 2008
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780226470627
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / International / General
Political Science / General
Political Science / International Relations / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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In many discussions of nations' development, we often focus on their economic and social development. Is it becoming wealthier? Is its society modernizing? Is it becoming more technologically sophisticated? Are social outcomes improving for the broad mass of the public? The process of development policy implementation, however, is always and inevitably political. Put simply, regime type matters when it comes to deciding on a course of development to follow. Further, political institutions matter. When a government's institutional capacity is low, the chances of success severely decline, regardless of the merits of the development plan. In The Oxford Handbook of the Politics of Development, two of America's leading political scientists on the issue, Carol Lancaster and Nicolas van de Walle, have assembled an international cast of leading scholars to craft a broad, state-of-the-art work on this vitally important topic. This volume is divided into five sections: major theories of the politics of development, organized historically (e.g. modernization theory, dependency theory, the Washington consensus of 'policies without politics,' etc.); key domestic factors and variables; key international factors and variables; political systems and structures; and geographical perspectives, inclusive of regional dynamics. A comprehensive and cross-regional examination on key issues of political development, this Handbook not only provides an authoritative synthesis of past scholarship, but also sets the agenda for future research in this discipline.
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