Winning Heaarts and Minds (!): The Dilemma of Foreign Aid in Anti-Americanism

Tokdemir, E. 2017. Journal of Peace Research

Foreign aid is a policy tool implemented with the purpose of fostering both hard and soft power abroad. Yet, previous research has not probed the effects of US foreign aid on public attitudes toward the US in the recipient countries. In this article, I argue that US foreign aid may actually feed anti-Americanism: aid indirectly creates winners and losers in the recipient countries, such that politically discontented people may blame the US for the survival of the prevailing regime. Drawing on Pew Research for Global Attitudes and on USAID Greenbook datasets, I focus on determining both the conditions under which foreign aid exacerbates anti-Americanism and the type of aid most likely to do this.