Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First global evidence that foreign aid boosts public opinion

Date:
February 11, 2014
Source:
Dartmouth College
Summary:
A new study provides the first empirical evidence using data from a variety of countries that foreign aid can greatly improve foreign public opinion of donor countries.

A study by Dartmouth and Australian researchers provides the first empirical evidence using data from a variety of countries that foreign aid can greatly improve foreign public opinion of donor countries.

The findings are based on a U.S. foreign aid program targeting HIV and AIDS -- the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) -- that has substantially improved public perception of the United States in the more than 80 developing countries receiving the aid. But the findings have broader policy implications for an emerging international order in which major powers increasingly use foreign aid rather than militarized conflicts to sway global public opinion and pursue a range of objectives in foreign relations.

The study will appear in Quarterly Journal of Political Science. The study included researchers from Dartmouth College, the University of Sydney and the Australian National University.

"By doing good, a country can do well," says co-author Yusaku Horiuchi, an associate professor and the Mitsui Chair in the Study of Japan in the Department of Government at Dartmouth. "Our findings suggest that policy debates about foreign aid programs should consider not only their efficacy in achieving direct goals, but also their value in improving the donor country's global or regional standing."

Foreign aid is often claimed to be an effective tool that states use to win hearts and minds abroad, but those claims are largely based on anecdotal evidence from disaster and conflict zones. In addition, there are several reasons why foreign aid could be ineffective in influencing public opinion -- recipients may be unaware of the origins of the aid; the donor's motivations might be seen as self-serving; the positive feelings associated with aid may be too small to shift perceptions; aid programs may fail to work; or aid may be seen as helping to prop up dysfunctional or repressive regimes.

The few empirical studies conducted have had methodological limitations and produced mixed results, with some showing at least a temporary boost in public opinion, while others show no widespread, long-lasting effect. But the Dartmouth-Australian study takes a new approach to the issue, applying for the first time a comparative, cross-national perspective using data from a variety of countries. The results suggest that in addition to its humanitarian benefits, foreign aid that meets certain criteria -- targeted at important needs, sustained over time, perceived as being effective, and highly visible -- can serve an important strategic goal for those countries that give it.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Dartmouth College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Dartmouth College. "First global evidence that foreign aid boosts public opinion." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140211133052.htm>.
Dartmouth College. (2014, February 11). First global evidence that foreign aid boosts public opinion. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140211133052.htm
Dartmouth College. "First global evidence that foreign aid boosts public opinion." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140211133052.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yahoo's Ousted COO Gets $58M Severance Package

Yahoo's Ousted COO Gets $58M Severance Package

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) According to SEC filings, Yahoo gave ousted COO Henrique de Castro a $58 million severance package. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins