American Foreign Aid Doctrines

Washington: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, January 1963.

In his study, American Foreign Aid Doctrines, Professor Banfield critically examines the premises of aid doctrines as to both fact and value. As a critique of present aid doctrine, his study suggests that the time is long overdue for a reappraisal of our foreign aid programs in terms of more realistic doctrine. 

“In his study, American Foreign Aid Doctrines, Prof. Edward G. Banfield of Harvard University examines the concepts which underlie U. S. assistance to underdeveloped nations. He questions the validity of the principal arguments advanced to justify foreign assistance- i.e., that it enhances U. S. security, increases our influence and prestige abroad, helps arrest Communist expansion and promotes the establishment of democracy in underdeveloped areas of the world. A good many people also subscribe to the befuddled notion that foreign aid can help recipient nations to substantially raise their low standards of living. A higher per capita income is in turn supposed to “engender a taste for democracy and peace.” If foreign aid can indeed achieve these ends, then—Prof. Banfield suggests tongue in cheek—Russia and Communist China should be given high priority among potential recipients of assistance.” — Challenge

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