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), pp. 69-70).

The disastrous economic conditions existing in Europe in 1947 represented the destruction of a world system that had prevailed throughout the lives of the men who made the Marshall Plan. It was a system in which the predominant norms were those of democratic institutions infused with Western culture and values. This system, which had its roots in Western Europe, had been severely shaken in the First World War, but it had survived. It had again survived the Second World War, but the damage it sustained had placed its continuing existence in jeopardy.

Thus the concern for economic disaster in Europe, and the equating of that disaster with United States interests, came easily for the American leaders. They simply realized that a war in which they had engaged to preserve a world against Nazism had brought about conditions that could destroy the very thing for which they had fought. This realization did not come immecliately; indeed, it took two years for the war damage and bad weather conditions to bring the Europeans to the point of collapse.


If the United States gives aid for purposes of inhibiting social or political change, such aid will be out of step with the more important needs of the developing world.

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