The Democracy Aid Calculus: Regimes, Political Opponents, and the Allocation of US Democracy Assistance, 1981–2009

Timothy M. Peterson, James M. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

To encourage the spread of democracy throughout the developing world, the United States provides targeted aid to governments, political parties, and other non-governmental groups and organizations. This study examines the calculations behind the allocation of democracy assistance, with special attention to the role of regime conditions and policy compatibility in the provision of aid. We argue that both concerns—the opportunity for successful democratization and critical goals related to containing and countering political opponents—are central to democracy aid allocations. We theorize how these two concerns determine the amount of aid allocated, operationalizing these concepts using measures of the original democracy level, change in the democracy level, and policy compatibility. We find support for our argument in tests of US democracy aid allocations by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1981–2009.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-293
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Interactions
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Democracy aid
  • democratization
  • foreign policy
  • security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations

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