Promoting ‘good behaviour’ through aid: do ‘new’ donors differ from the ‘old’ ones?

Ivica Petrikova

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The relationship between development aid and recipients’ ‘good behaviour’ (human rights, democracy, and good governance) has been examined frequently, in a belief that giving more aid to countries with better performance in these areas can motivate their improvement. Most researchers agree that traditional, Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors reward recipients’ ‘good behaviour’ at least to some extent; however, ‘new’, non-DAC donors have been thus far portrayed as largely unconcerned with these issues. In this article, I examine the evidence underlying such claims by investigating whether or not human rights, democracy, and good governance play any role in the ‘new’ donors’ aid allocation. I find that, similar to DAC donors, many non-DAC donors pay heed to recipients’ democracy, human rights or good governance records at some point in their aid decision-making process. These results suggest that the fears raised regarding the nature of ‘new’ aid might be unfounded and point to the emergence of stronger global norms vis-à-vis the importance of human rights, democracy, and good governance to development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-192
JournalJournal of International Relations and Development
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2016


  • development aid
  • democracy
  • human rights
  • governance
  • DAC
  • non-DAC


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