Justifying Aid: Reconstructing and Assessing Political Justifications for Development Aid Spending in Contemporary British Public Discourse


  • Samuel J. Bruce




Foreign aid generates furious public discussion. Significant amounts of British public money are spent on aid, and citizens rightly want to know why. Unfortunately, the public discourse surrounding the justification of aid spending is shrouded in foggy ideas and cloudy arguments. I contend that this has been the case for a considerable time, and demonstrate that both a moral and rational argument for aid can be reconstructed for aid spending from existing discussions. Having given what I consider to be the strongest articulations of these arguments drawn from discourse, I suggest that both arguments have considerable flaws and suggest ways in which politicians could engage on the subject to help keep the fog at bay.


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