Wednesday, 1 December 1999

From "Developing Theories of Foreign Policy Making: A Case Study of Foreign Aid"

By Gilbert R. Winham (The Journal of Politics, Vol. 32, No. 1. (Feb., 1970), p. 53).

Statements like Will Clayton's that "Western Europe is made of our kind of people," were not a major argument for providing foreign assistance. This finding thus casts doubt on the hypothesis that Marshall aid was given because U.S. leaders felt especially "close" to the European nations. It is significant because it undercuts the argument that America's failure to provide Marshall-scale aid to underdeveloped areas outside Western Europe is due to America's lack of empathy with non-European political systems.

A second aspect is the perception that the European situation and/or U.S. assistance concerned the national interest of the United States (NATINT). The data show this theme to be relatively frequent -- it was mentioned 167 times or an average of 2.1 times per speech. These data, which suggest that the policy makers saw U.S., interests tied to European recovery, mere recoded to obtain a more precise idea of how U. S. interests were involved. The NATINT theme was divided into four sub-categories according to whether the perceptions dealt with economic matters such as improved trade relations (NATINT-E), political concerns such as the maintenance of democratic institutions (NATINT-P), security concerns such as preservation of military strength (NATINT-S), or other (NATINT-0).

[...] The results show that there was no single reason why decision makers believed the Marshall Plan to be in the interest of the United States, and that most of the time they were unable to give any substantive content to their allegations about national interest.

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