Following 9/11, the United States asserted that terrorism and technology presented an immediate and present danger to national security. The Bush Administration responded to this threat by making development a core foreign policy priority. A central goal of this revised strategy was to create economic growth and opportunity in fragile states, thereby limiting the space where extremists and terrorists could operate. This thesis will incorporate two histories: the academic debate surrounding Lipset's "economic growth thesis" and the foreign assistance role of the United States Agency for International Development. The primary research question will consider whether evidence exists that the economic growth thesis has informed foreign aid practices, and if so, to what extent. The secondary research aim will be to assess the newly revised bilateral foreign aid policy in terms of the economic development components it possesses and its potential to achieve the objectives prescribed by the Bush Administration.
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