A case for aid: Foreign assistance effectiveness in maintaining global influence
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This dissertation examines how U.S. foreign aid provision impacts recipient nations’ policy behavior. I address the following questions: Is aid provision an effective foreign policy tool? How does aid alter the payoff structure for donors (the U.S.) through repeated interactions? Can aid provision elicit policy compliance from recipients? Assessing the effectiveness of aid as a policy tool is naturally multifaceted and complicated. Properly defining what constitutes politically effective aid entails a thorough cost-benefit analysis encompassing objective measurements of costs, risks and payoffs. Effectiveness consists of successful coercion of a recipient’s policy behavior and a relatively high yield in terms of payoffs versus rewards. This dissertation analyzes aid effectiveness through the use of case studies pertaining to three prominent aid recipients: Colombia, Turkey, and South Korea. Aid’s relevance in successful policy coercion is a significant foreign policy issue because aid’s cost to yield ratio is far superior to any other available means of coercion, yet foreign assistance is repeatedly relegated by policymakers. Utilizing case studies, this dissertation convincingly demonstrates the promise of aid’s relatively underused power in influencing policy behavior on the part of recipients. By using case studies, I will demonstrate that aid represents one of the most powerful tools available to the U.S. for influencing, coercing, and controlling state behavior globally.