Theories of International Relations and the Explanation of Foreign Aid
Revista Iberoamericana de Estudios de Desarrollo
This is a theoretical survey research on the viability of norms theories for studying foreign aid. The rationalist approach of international relations (IR) theory regards foreign aid as one of the mere policy tools for enhancing strategic and economic influences over recipient countries. The dominant IR paradigm, however, is lacking in accounting for such aspects of foreign aid as processes and conditions as well as rationales. Authors contend that the literature that delves into international
... into international norms, which is in line with a constructive approach, will be suggestive to enable us to fully understand the mechanism of foreign aid. This research addresses four strands of the norms literature to demonstrate how the theories that scrupulously scrutinize actors, processes and conditions of a variety of norms dynamics will be instrumental to the studies of foreign aid. The theoretical discussion is followed by the case study of global response to HIV/AIDS as an example of the potential contributions of norms theories for studying foreign aid policy. This research ends with the implications of the norms literature in a larger context of IR discipline.