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"How to help poor countries", Nancy Birdsall, Dani Rodrik, Arvind Subramanian

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  1. The internal political factors
  2. Western political of aids and donor countries
  3. Who decides which countries need help and which not?
  4. What kind of help donor countries provide?
  5. Conclusion

This article, published in the issue of "Foreign Affairs" dated July/August 2005, questions a lot of ready-made ideas about foreign aid and about the ways to "help poor countries". The main interest of this article is that it questions the foreign aid as the provision of resources from a country to another and trading opportunities, which are usually considered as the most efficient tools to promote development of poor countries. Such an aid has only limited effect on the long-term development of these countries. The authors argue that the successes of poor countries remain mostly on internal factors, such as the development of their economical, political and social institutions, which enable them to make an effective use of the opportunities they face. They feel that "development is something largely determine by poor countries themselves".

[...] Related to this point, there is another important and original feature of this paper: it is aware that one single theory, a unique model can not explain the success or the failure of the specific development of a country. Indeed, each country has its own economical, historical and institutional background which may define what kind of policies may work the best for it. Therefore, the authors are right to insist on the fact that there is not a miracle recipe to bring these countries out of poverty but that it depends on each situation. [...]


[...] Furthermore, although according to their strong economic demonstration, there is no doubt that ?small relaxations of work visa restrictions generate large income gain for workers from poor countries? (it has been proved many times that this can even be beneficial to the economy of rich countries), it is more doubtful that this kind of arrangement can be implemented. In fact, according to which criteria shall a country grant a work visa to a foreign worker and refuse it to another? It seems pretty hard to develop such a policy and at the same time to keep control upon the number of migrant workers you authorize and to try to make this policy fair. [...]


[...] "How to help poor countries", Nancy Birdsall, Dani Rodrik, Arvind Subramanian This article, published in ?Foreign Affairs? in July/August 2005, questions a lot of ready-made ideas about foreign aid and about the way to namely ?help poor countries?. The main interest of this article is that it stands that foreign aid-as the provision of resources from a country to another- and trading opportunities, which are usually considered as the most efficient tools to promote poor countries' development, have only limited effect on the long-term development of these countries. [...]


[...] The debate over ?Asian values? opened by the Indonesian President Sukarno is still opened: indeed he opposed to the hegemony of Western values, the particular characteristics of Asian Countries, who did not really valued democracy but had more Confucian values. One should not forget that foreign aid is linked to a humanitarian principle: helping the suffering populations; not to the promotion of Western values, which has often been denounced as a new form of colonialism. By the same token, considering democracy as the only form of government that might be able to promote stability and economic growth in a country refers to a genuine Western point of view. [...]

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