This article complements existing literature on the aid-institutions nexus by focusing on political rights, aid volatilities, and the post-Berlin Wall period. Our findings show that, while foreign aid does not have a significant effect on political rights, foreign aid volatilities do mitigate democracy in recipient countries. Such volatilities could be used by populist parties to promote a neocolonial agenda, instill nationalistic sentiments, and consolidate their grip on power. This is especially true when donors are asking for standards that the majority of the population in control does not want and political leaders are unwilling to implement them. Our empirical evidence is based on 53 African countries for the period from 1996 to 2010. As a main policy implication, creating uncertainties in foreign aid for political rights enhancement in African countries may achieve the opposite results. We also discuss other implications, including the need for an “After-Washington” Consensus.
- Political rights
- Foreign aid