Dagsarkiv: 15. november 2009

Skaber ulandsbistand terrorisme?

En del af det ’nye’ rationale for at give lande ulandsbistand er, at bistanden angiveligt kan forhindre terrorisme. Ideen bag er, at terrorisme i høj grad skyldes fattigdom, og at ulandsbistand reducerer fattigdom. Der er derfor, på trods af det åbenlyst spinkle grundlag, optimisme i dele af det ulandspolitiske miljø. Et nyt arbejdspapir af Swati Sharma, Zach Davis, and Mike Findley fra Brigham Young University i USA (kan læses her) konkluderer, at optimismen kan ligge på et meget lille sted. Abstractet lyder:

After the attacks of 9/11, many US policymakers encouraged the use of foreign aid as an instrument to decrease terrorism. However, this argument is based on at least two assumptions that are the subject of considerable debate in the scholarly literature. The first is that terrorism is directly caused by problematic social or political conditions, such as poverty, lack of education, or oppressive governments. The second is that foreign aid is effective at alleviating any of those conditions including terrorism directly. We contend that foreign aid is unlikely to have a pacifying effect on terrorism and instead it might actually offer an incentive for the continuation or increase of terrorist activity. Because terrorist groups perceive aid as a threatening form of Western influence that can erode popular support for their activities, terrorist groups have an incentive to continue or increase their behavior in response to foreign aid flows. Seeking to both prevent future aid and maintain favorable public opinion, terrorist groups respond with sustained or increased terrorism. Preliminary results support these theoretical expectations.

Helt konkret viser de tre forskere, at en forøgelse af ulandsbistanden fra et lavt niveau (en standardafvigelse under gennemsnittet) til et højt niveau (en standardafvigelse over gennemsnittet) er forbundet med en fordobling i antallet af forventede terroraktioner fra 3.5 til 7 per år. Rationalet bag denne perverse effekt er, at fundamentalistiske grupper og andre terrororganisationer afskyr vestlig kultur og indblanding, og ser bistanden som forsøg på vestligt diktat. Så jo mere bistand, man får, jo større bliver den voldelige modstand mod det, bistanden ses at repræsentere. Måske skulle man sende papiret til Ulla Tørnæs?