The Tragedy of Foreign Aid
This course builds on two themes from PACS I: Family and civil society and politics, law, and citizenship. It deals with the ongoing attempt by the wealthy world to alleviate poverty in the world's poorest countries. It asks to what extent a wealthy civil society, represented by advocates like Bono and Angelina Jolie, has a responsibility to help. It deals with the politics and the economics of the aid industry as it exists today. Most importantly, the course provides evidence of the extent to which today's aid industry really increases poverty. This evidence, tragically, explains the course title. But the course is ultimately not a tragedy. It uses some economic insight to suggest better ways a wealthy civil society can help the world's poor, and it shows how this society is slowly, slowly moving in a new direction.