Conditional effects of development aid on political perceptions: mixed-methods evidence from North-East Afghanistan

Autor(en): De Juan, Alexander 
Gosztonyi, Kristof
Koehler, Jan
Stichwörter: Afghanistan; aid; CONFLICT; DELIVERY; development; governance; GOVERNMENT; International Relations; LEGITIMACY; political trust; SOCIETIES; STATE; TRUST; VIOLENCE
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Volumen: 26
Ausgabe: 3
Startseite: 793
Seitenende: 819
Can aid create political trust in conflict-affected states? International aid organizations often argue that supporting states in providing basic services can contribute to strengthening state-society relations. Previous studies in international development have indicated that the provision of basic services can indeed improve people's attitudes towards state institutions. We take this research a step further: in addition to analysing the impact of aid on political trust, we assess how violence influences this effect. We argue that aid can create opportunities for constructive state-society interactions. As violence increases, however, development-related interactions are crowded out by security-related ones. Violence also fosters corrupt aid governance, which undermines the positive effects of aid on public perceptions. We analyse this hypothesis with a mixed-methods research design that combines original opinion survey data with qualitative interview material systematically collected in 252 villages of northeast Afghanistan. Based on a combination of (a) quantitative analyses, (b) a comparison of most-similar villages, (c) a systematic comparison of qualitative survey response patterns across levels of insecurity, and (d) an in-depth analysis of interview material on aid and trust in highly insecure areas, we show that violence negatively impacts the relative relevance as well as the quality of aid-related state-society interactions. These findings indicate that international aid agencies should refocus from mainly output-oriented project appraisal, design, and monitoring to a stronger process orientation that maximizes state-society interaction and prevents elite capture in areas exposed to high levels of violence.
ISSN: 13540661
DOI: 10.1177/1354066119883686

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