Middle East Studies

What Does U.S. Aid "Buy" in the Middle East?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

5:00pm – 7:00pm

McKinney Conference Room, Watson Institute

Anne Mariel Peters, Assistant Professor at Wesleyan University will be speaking about "What Does U.S. Aid “Buy” in the Middle East?"

What does geopolitically motivated U.S. aid “buy” in the Middle East? Does U.S. aid improve the capabilities of state institutions to provide security, public goods, and the means for economic development? As a major donor, is the U.S. able to extract policy concessions from recipient governments? Most importantly, why and under what conditions? Peters considers these questions through the lens of U.S. aid to the four major recipients of the “peace dividend:” Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority. She argues that domestic political survival strategies of incumbent regimes in the aid recipient shape three outcomes: (1) the composition of aid portfolios, including the presence of “parallel institutions” that bypass domestic institutions to provide public goods directly to recipient populations; (2) the degree to which aid supports institutional upgrading; and (3) the intensity of international hierarchy, the degree to which the recipient cedes fragments of its sovereignty to the donor.