Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor's Name

Ronald W. Cox

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Richard S. Olson

Third Advisor's Name

John F. Stack, Jr.

Fourth Advisor's Name

Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamor

Keywords

Development, Neoliberalism, USAID, Haiti, Radical Political Economy, US Multinational Corporations

Date of Defense

4-2-2012

Abstract

This dissertation is an attempt to use the radical political economy approach, which assumes that there is a connection between a state’s strategic interests and the interests of dominant multinational corporations (MNCs) located within a state’s territory, to explain continuity in the USAID development agenda and lending patterns during the past 30 years of development aid to Haiti. Employing the qualitative method of "process-tracing," my study concludes that the radical political economy approach has an explanatory power when it comes to understanding continuity in the USAID development agenda and lending patterns during the past 30 years of development aid to Haiti. The evidence shows that USAID has implemented in Haiti, from the 1980s through the post-9/11 Washington Consensus period, neoliberal policies that conform to the political economy of US multinational corporations (US MNCs). Contrary to the claim that the USAID-sponsored post-earthquake development paradigm has departed from previous development strategies, the study has shown that USAID has used the occurrence of the January 2010 earthquake tragedy to accelerate in Haiti the implementation of a neoliberal agenda congenial to the business promotion of multinational investors, particularly US multinational corporations. In terms of the way ahead, the study argues for the implementation of a new development approach articulated by a legitimate Haitian state and primarily intended to promote the socioeconomic development of the poorest Haitians.

Identifier

FI12050218

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