Good Intentions: Evaluating the Impact of United States’ Foreign Assistance on Government Violence against Civilians in Sub-Saharan Africa
This thesis looks at U.S. security and governance-focused foreign assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa, to evaluate its impact on recipient-state violence against civilians, from 2002 to 2017. I combine U.S. security and governance assistance project data with recorded instances of political violence in Sub-Saharan Africa. By creating a single panel dataset of foreign assistance, the number of recorded fatalities resulting from government violence against civilians (GVAC) per country per year, and other variables measuring different aspects of governance and political violence, I can isolate the relationship between U.S. foreign assistance and GVAC fatalities resulting from civil unrest over time. I find that U.S. foreign assistance does not directly have a relationship with government violence. At best, U.S. foreign assistance has little impact on government violence against civilians, and at worst, increases repression in recipient countries.
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