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U. S. Economic Aid and Political Repression: An Empirical Evaluation of U. S. Foreign Policy

Patrick M. Regan
Political Research Quarterly
Vol. 48, No. 3 (Sep., 1995), pp. 613-628
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. on behalf of the University of Utah
DOI: 10.2307/449005
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/449005
Page Count: 16
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U. S. Economic Aid and Political Repression: An Empirical Evaluation of U. S. Foreign Policy
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Abstract

The U.S. Congress has mandated that foreign aid be used in a manner that distances the U.S. from regimes which consistently violate the human rights of their populations, and promotes more acceptable human rights records in recipient countries. There has been considerable scholarly attention devoted to the first of these congressional mandates, though as yet little effort has been made to evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid programs in actually changing human rights behavior. This essay is a first attempt at evaluating the impact of changes in economic assistance on changes in the amount of political abuse perpetrated by those on the receiving end of the assistance programs. Although others have shown that Carter and Reagan distributed their respective aid programs differently, the findings presented below demonstrate that economic aid has no discernable effect on the human rights records of the recipients; this result holds across both the Carter and Reagan administrations.

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