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Aid Modalities Matter: the Impact of Different World Bank and IMF Programs on Democratization in Developing Countries


Birchler, Kassandra; Limpach, Sophia; Michaelowa, Katharina (2016). Aid Modalities Matter: the Impact of Different World Bank and IMF Programs on Democratization in Developing Countries. International Studies Quarterly, 60(3):427-439.

Abstract

Many argue that autocratic regimes allocate revenues from foreign aid with the aim of stabilizing their rule rather than serving economic and social development. However, donors often condition foreign aid on reforms in recipient states. We argue that when those conditions for reform focus on participative processes and government accountability, they positively affect democratization. We evaluate our claim based on different types of World Bank and IMF lending programs for a panel of 100 low- and middle-income countries over the years 1980–2011. Our results suggest that aid positively affects democratization when it strengthens domestic accountability mechanisms and thereby reduces its fungibility for recipients. The World Bank and the IMF’s poverty reduction strategy programs provide a notable case of this effect.

Abstract

Many argue that autocratic regimes allocate revenues from foreign aid with the aim of stabilizing their rule rather than serving economic and social development. However, donors often condition foreign aid on reforms in recipient states. We argue that when those conditions for reform focus on participative processes and government accountability, they positively affect democratization. We evaluate our claim based on different types of World Bank and IMF lending programs for a panel of 100 low- and middle-income countries over the years 1980–2011. Our results suggest that aid positively affects democratization when it strengthens domestic accountability mechanisms and thereby reduces its fungibility for recipients. The World Bank and the IMF’s poverty reduction strategy programs provide a notable case of this effect.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Date:September 2016
Deposited On:19 Oct 2016 14:09
Last Modified:25 Nov 2016 11:00
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0020-8833
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/isq/sqw014

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