Noblesse Oblige: Status Motivations and Public Support for Foreign Aid

26 Oct 2023
12:30 UK time
Marina Duque
Manor Road Building, Seminar Room G, Manor Road OX1 3UQ
IR Research Colloquium
Members of the University only
Not required
What drives support for foreign aid? Drawing on multidisciplinary research, we argue that international status is a powerful yet neglected factor driving public opinion toward aid. Using an original survey experiment in the U.S., we show that the more Americans value their country’s international standing, the more they support the provision of foreign aid. Observationally, respondents are more supportive of aid the higher their reported need for national status—whose substantive impact is comparable to that of important factors traditionally considered in foreign aid research. Moreover, respondents experimentally cued to consider that a reduction in foreign aid spending would hurt U.S. international status are more supportive of foreign aid than respondents not cued to consider such an impact. Our analysis indicates that framing foreign aid in terms of donor status can encourage richer states to help more those in need