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Transforming Foreign Aid: United States Assistance in the 21st Century

Transforming Foreign Aid: United States Assistance in the 21st Century

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The phenomenon of foreign aid began at the end of World War II and has survived the Cold War. How should the United States now spend its foreign aid to support its interests and values in the new century? In this study, Carol Lancaster takes a fresh lookat all US foreign aid programs and asks whether their purposes, organization and management are appropriate to US interests and values in the world of the 21st century.

Lancaster finds that US aid in the new century, if it is to be an effective tool of US foreign policy, needs to be transformed. Its purposes need to be refocused and its organization and management brought into line with those purposes. Those purposes include support for peace-making, addressing transnational issues, providing for humane concerns and responding to humanitarian emergencies. Traditional programs aimed at promoting development, democracy and economic and political transitions in former socialist countries will not disappear but they will have less priority than in the past. These new sets of purposes, promoting both US interests and values abroad, also offer a policy paradigm around which a new political consensus can be created that will support US aid in the 21st century.

United States Foreign Aid should be of particular interest to professors, students, and researchers of international affairs, foreign policy, political science, and political economy.