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Matthew S. Williams

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The Bush Administration, Debt Relief, and the War on Terror: Reforming the International Development System as Part of the Neoconservative Project

In its international development agenda, the administration of George W. Bush showed an unexpected concern for the poor by promoting giving grants instead of loans to poor countries and convincing the G8 to forgive their debts. Based on an analysis of congressional testimony, the author argues that these reforms were part of a larger project. The Bush administration implemented a new system of aid conditionality, designed to increase its regulatory control over developing countries. Neoconservatives argued that “failed states” and poverty constitute a major cause of terrorism and that their reforms, by reducing poverty, were essential to the “war on terror.”

international financial institutions, debt forgiveness, aid conditionality, neoconservative policy

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 35, No. 3 (2008-09): 49-65