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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Is Foreign Aid Really a Form of Altruism?

In Joshua Keating's article on Diplomatic Immunity, he brought to light the politics that goes on in all development projects. From Raymond Davis, an employee at the U.S. consultate in Lahore, Pakistan, to Anil Verma, an Indian diplomatic in London, diplomatic immunity came to the rescue for their violence behaviour.

Does providing aid means that the donee have a liability towards the donor?

In a 1992 paper on The Politics of Foreign Aid, the authors hypothesized three reasons why foreign aid exists:

a) genuine care, altruism
b) indirect gains from foreign aid (i.e. trade effects), the benefits outweighs the cost
c) domestic politics

Why do you think Foreign Aid exist?

- GlassFrog Blogger Jackel


  1. I think a better question is "What percent of the reason for existence of foreign aid do you think is altruism?"

    unfortunately, I think now its only about 60% at best. But I would like to hear other opinions.

    I think domestic politics probably accounts for 20% of the reason nowadays.

  2. I'm going to guess it started out of genuine care, and maybe these people pushed others and tried to show them why they should care, and even how it could benefit them to care.
    As to AZ's point, In my opinion, it doesn't completely matter whether people are doing it solely because they care or because they see a way that they can benefit from helping people. If a company is dishing out money to some aid organization in order to boost their reputation, sure they're selfish, but at least we get their money. I feel like if we manipulate people (ex companies) into participating in foreign aid (by, for ex only purchasing from companies who do so), it will eventually become an expected norm.