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International Relations

Analyses of U.S. Global Democracy Promotion and the Growing Rift Between the U.S. and Latin America

Gabriel Dayley ('12); Mentor: Christopher Clement

Abstract: The research investigated two topics: (1) trends in U.S. democracy promotion and (2) the growing political divergence between the United States and Latin America. Topic 1 focused on statistical analysis of National Endowment for Democracy grant data and examined government documents, reports, and statements. The research suggests that democracy promotion remains a key component of U.S. foreign policy under President Obama and is likely to continue as such. Topic 2 focused on the hemispheric response to three recent crises in Latin America: the 2002 Venezuelan coup, the 2008 Bolivian crisis, and the 2009 Honduran coup. The examination compared the responses to these crises of the U.S. government, various Latin American leaders, the OAS, and regional groups like UNASUR. The research suggests that there is indeed a growing divergence and that the ability of Latin American countries to respond to hemispheric crises effectively without U.S. support is growing.
Funding provided by The Faucett Family Foundation

"Fumbling in the Dark": Chinese Grass-roots NGOs in a Dynamic Regulatory Environment

Raymond Lu ('11); Mentor: David Elliott

Abstract: Unable to meet existing requirements to obtain non-profit status, an estimated 1 million grassroots NGOs in China have chosen to remain unregistered, operating in a legal grey zone fraught with uncertainty. This project aims to explore the implications of contradictory policy shifts toward grassroots NGOs, from new restrictions on overseas donations to seemingly positive developments such as expanded state funding of nonprofit organi-zations. Based on interviews with leaders from 12 grassroots NGOs and my experiences interning at a labor rights group, I find that government actions do not fully conform to narratives of either repression or liberalization. Rather, they can be better described as attempts to “reorder” a growing third sector, channeling funds to groups that reinforce existing development agendas while limiting space for groups critical of government policy. Although the policy is a boon for NGOs in fields such as environmental protection or poverty alleviation, for organizations that engage.
Funding provided by The Paul K. Richter and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Award

Microfinance and Household Finances in East Africa: Case Studies in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania

Scott Wilkinson ('11)

Abstract: Spectacular growth of the microfinance industry has been fueled not by market forces but by conscious actions of national governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and donors who view microfinance as an effective tool for alleviating poverty. Since much of the impetus behind this large and increasing support for microfinance hinges on the assumption that its economic and social impacts are significant, it seems necessary to justify that pretense beyond reasonable doubt. This study attempts to add to the wealth of knowledge on this subject by examining some of the financial and social benefits of microfinance—specifically when capital is filtered through women—in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. This research seeks to show that microfinance generates smooth income accumulation, and consequently that women more commonly tend to spend this stable flow of income on children’s food, education, and health care, ultimately raising the economic, social, and physical well-being of the family.
Funding provided by The Faucett Family Foundation

Research at Pomona