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Foreign Aid

David Arase


Subject International Studies » International Political Economy

Key-Topics aid, dependency, poverty

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444336597.2010.x


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Comment on this article   Foreign aid involves a negotiated transfer of free or heavily discounted economic resources by a donor government to a recipient government, either directly or via an international organization, for the purpose of assisting the recipient in improving its economic and social welfare. However, there is not much that is straightforward about aid with respect to its motivations, effectiveness, and future prospects. This essay is divided into four sections. The first deals with the origins and evolution of foreign aid. The next section examines foreign aid in its role as development assistance. The third section deals with foreign aid's uses by donors to pursue interests and promote norms, and the fourth outlines contending views on aid. The essay ends by pointing to promising areas for further research. The unrequited transfer of wealth from a weak nation to a stronger one is an ancient tradition, but the notion that it would be powerful nations transferring wealth to advance the economic development of weaker ones was virtually unheard of until the Marshall Plan for post–World War II European economic recovery ( Liska 1960 ). The unique aspect of the Marshall Plan was the voluntary, unrequited, and systematic transfer of economic resources by the US to its Western European allies in order to reconstruct their shattered economies. It was successful in restarting ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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