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A Fragile Balance

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This book offers a broad historical narrative of foreign aid, international security and diplomacy. It emphasizes human development rather than economic development. The failures of foreign aid have drawn many assumptions into stark focus: the assumption that aid is reaching the bottom end of the socio-economic ladder, that those most capable of forming policy are in the Western academy, that decisions about where aid should go can be separated from culture and history. Picard and Buss suggest that continuing to discuss aid's problems using tired ideas won't work. They take an unconventional approach by placing aid in the context of larger security and foreign policy goals and by extending the history of aid prior to WWII and into the 19th century. Simplifying the complex world of foreign aid with all its diversity and meanings, the book serves as a contemporary introduction to a surprisingly old idea. ""A Fragile Balance"" adopts both policy and normative perspectives, allowing readers to really get around the issues. It reveals the problems that remain and importantly, what can be done to fix the system. This text will serve as an invaluable introduction to undergraduate and graduate students studying foreign policy, security studies and economic development, but will also appeal to practitioners who want a fresh view of the so-called 'three Ds' of diplomacy, defense and development.
Product Details

Table of Contents

1) Why Foreign Aid?; 2) Foreign Aid and Foreign and Security Policy; 3) The Impact of Colonialism on International Assistance; 4) Manifest Destiny and American Antecedents; 5) The World Wars and the Origins of Contemporary U.S. Foreign Aid; 6) Point Four, USAID and the Cold War; 7) Vietnam: The Legacy of a Tragedy; 8) Basic Needs, Structural Adjustment and the End of the Cold War; 9) Crossing the Millennium: September Eleven and the Iraq Fiasco; 10) Foreign Aid Debates in the Twenty-First Century.

About the Author

Louis Picard is Professor in the Division of International Development, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh. Terry Buss is distinguished professor of public policy at the Heinz College of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, Adelaide, Australia.


"The authors could not be more correct [that implementing aid is a management problem]. Foreign aid implementation *is* a management problem and the authors are correctly critical of the short-term bridging training preferred by donor agencies."

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