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This book offers a broad historical narrative of foreign aid, international security and diplomacy. It emphasizes human development rather than ecomic development. The failures of foreign aid have drawn many assumptions into stark focus: the assumption that aid is reaching the bottom end of the socio-ecomic ladder, that those most capable of forming policy are in the Western academy, that decisions about where aid should go can be separated from culture and history. Picard and Buss suggest that continuing to discuss aid's problems using tired ideas won't work. They take an unconventional approach by placing aid in the context of larger security and foreign policy goals and by extending the history of aid prior to WWII and into the 19th century. Simplifying the complex world of foreign aid with all its diversity and meanings, the book serves as a contemporary introduction to a surprisingly old idea. A Fragile Balance adopts both policy and rmative perspectives, allowing readers to really get around the issues. It reveals the problems that remain and importantly, what can be done to fix the system. This text will serve as an invaluable introduction to undergraduate and graduate students studying foreign policy, security studies and ecomic development, but will also appeal to practitioners who want a fresh view of the so-called 'three Ds' of diplomacy, defense and development.
Louis Picard is Professor in the Division of International Development, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh. Terry Buss is distinguished professor of public policy at the Heinz College of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, Adelaide, Australia.