The Politics of Foreign Aid

When researching the effects of foreign aid to formerly colonized countries, scholars like William Easterly (2003) and Bruce Bueno De Mesquita and Alastair Smith (2007) argue that donors provide aid to recipient countries in pursuit of their economic benefits, geopolitical interests, or both. Whether to gain allies, ensure access to recipients’ natural resources or mitigate political instability, such scholars believe that aid usually comes at a price (usually in the shape of policy concessions).