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Aiding Afghanistan: A HIstory of Soviet Assistance to a Developing Country

Robinson, Paul

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ISBN 10: 184904239X / ISBN 13: 9781849042390
Published by Oxford University Press
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Aiding Afghanistan: A HIstory of Soviet ...

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Binding: Hardcover

About this title


For nearly sixty years, Afghanistan has been one of the world's largest recipients of foreign development aid, yet it remains one of the poorest countries on earth. The Soviet Union provided Afghanistan with large-scale economic and technical assistance for close to twenty-five years before it invaded the country in 1979. It increased its assistance during the 1980s in an effort to prop up the current government and undermine the insurgency, yet none of this aid made any lasting difference to Afghan poverty. The same can be said for many other countries, in which foreign aid failed to promote economic growth.

Drawing on overlooked Soviet sources, this book investigates the Soviet Union's economic and technical assistance programs from the mid-1950s to the regime's collapse in 1991. It connects these programs' approaches to both Soviet-era development theory and more modern ideas about the role of institutions in fostering economic growth. In some respects, by acknowledging the centrality of institution-building, Soviet development theorists were actually ahead of their contemporary Western counterparts, yet these intellectuals failed to translate their ideas into practical solutions. This volume identifies the strengths and ultimate weaknesses of these programs, with findings that have wide implications for the future of international aid.

About the Author:

Paul Robinson is a professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He has written numerous books and articles on a range of subjects, including Russian and Soviet history, most notably The White Russian Army in Exile, 1920-1941.

Jay Dixon received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied international economics and political economy. He currently works for Industry Canada, researching the determinants of Canada's economic growth, and he lectures on macroeconomic policy in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, the University of Ottawa.

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