The impact of U.S. foreign aid on human rights conditions in post-Cold War era

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2011-01-01
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Lee, Hyun Ju
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Robert B. Urbatsch
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Political Science
The Department of Political Science has been a separate department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (formerly the College of Sciences and Humanities) since 1969 and offers an undergraduate degree (B.A.) in political science, a graduate degree (M.A.) in political science, a joint J.D./M.A. degree with Drake University, an interdisciplinary degree in cyber security, and a graduate Certificate of Public Management (CPM). In addition, it provides an array of service courses for students in other majors and other colleges to satisfy general education requirements in the area of the social sciences.
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During the Cold War, U.S. foreign aid was mainly used to fight against the potential Soviet military threat and to support allies. Containing Communism was the non-negotiable goal in U.S. foreign policy. With the end of the Cold War and the rising force of globalization, aid-providing developed countries in the West, including the United States, emphasized political conditionality attached to aid in order to encourage political reforms, such as democratic political process and securing human rights, in aid-recipient developing countries. This study uses pooled cross-sectional time series data covering 112 countries for the post-Cold War years of 1990-2009 to examine the effects of U.S. foreign aid allocation on human rights, especially physical integrity rights. The findings suggest that U.S. foreign aid [economic, military, and total aid] did have an impact on a government's respect for human rights in recipient countries, but that the association was negative: an increase in foreign aid from the United States is associated with less protection of human rights. Even though the good will of the chief administrators to promote human rights was explicit, implementations to achieve such a goal through foreign aid seem to fall far short of their promises.

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Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011