How do foreign aid flows from countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) influence domestic politics in recipient countries? In addressing this question, this lecture focuses specifically on the influence of foreign aid on democratic transitions and consolidation. Key topics that will be discussed include theories linking aid to domestic politics, measures of political outcomes, and recent evidence from studies that disaggregate
categories of foreign aid, such as economic assistance and democracy aid. The talk concludes with a brief discussion of how foreign aid resources may differ from other forms of external resources, such as revenue from natural resource production and migrant remittances.
Joseph Wright is a political scientist at Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on comparative political economy and authoritarian politics, with a particular interest in how international factors, including foreign aid, influence domestic politics in authoritarian regimes. His publications include ‘The Politics of Effective Aid’ (Annual Review of Political Science,
2010), ‘Aid Effectiveness and the Politics of Personalism’ (Comparative Political Studies, 2010), and ‘How Foreign Aid can Foster Democratization in Authoritarian Regimes’ (American Journal of Political Science, 2009).
ReCom - Research and Communication on Foreign Aid programme was launched in early 2011 by the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). Key partners of this initiative include the United Nations University-World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). The aim of the programme is to investigate and share knowledge on what works in development assistance, and what could work—including the potential to scaleup small but successful interventions into larger aid programmes, and transfer aid programmes across countries. Through the creation and communication of this knowledge, ReCom aims to improve aid practice and policy, consequently increasing the benefits of aid for recipient countries. ReCom focuses on five thematic areas: Growth and Employment, Governance, Gender Equality, Environment and Climate Change, and the Social Sectors.