Foreign Aid

Authored by: Marijke Breuning , Christopher Linebarger

Routledge Handbook of American Foreign Policy

Print publication date:  August  2011
Online publication date:  April  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415800884
eBook ISBN: 9780203878637
Adobe ISBN: 9781135967352


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Foreign aid is one of the most contentious areas of American foreign policy. Aid programs, especially those geared to economic development, were advanced as a critical element of Cold War policy and again during the War on Terror. Throughout this entire period, however, aid met with substantial opposition and policy confusion. Policy-maker opinion is sharply divided between those favoring aid in order to assist development in the countries of the Global South and those favoring the use of aid to advance the policy and security priorities of the United States. This contrast, however, obscures the true aid picture. Aid has been used (often simultaneously) for both developmental and diplomatic goals. This dualism is no accident. It is a product of the history of aid as well as the domestic politics of the United States (Lancaster 2007).

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