Center for American Progress

Special feature: Ghana, grandma and the factors affecting American public opinion on foreign aid
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Special feature: Ghana, grandma and the factors affecting American public opinion on foreign aid

John Norris explains why public attitudes toward foreign assistance programs shift depending on the public's trust in government and advises leaders on how they can reverse this trend.

Authors

  • John Norris

A number of important lessons emerge as we look at the history and trends around U.S. public opinion toward foreign assistance over the past 70 years. Perhaps most importantly, attitudes toward foreign assistance mirror, to a remarkable degree, shifts in the public’s trust in government. As faith in government slid at key points such as the Vietnam War and the period surrounding the Republican takeover of Congress by Newt Gingrich in 1994, the numbers of people saying we spend too much on foreign aid spiked.

The above excerpt was originally published in Devex. Click here to view the full article.

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Authors

John Norris

Senior Fellow; Executive Director, Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative