The nexus between soft power and US foreign aid
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] What is the role of soft power in US bilateral foreign aid allocation? Drawing on insights from Joseph Nye's soft power concept, I examine the relationship between US bilateral development and military aid allocations and like-minded states from 1981 to 2011. Accordingly, US soft power attracts like-minded states primarily through its culture as well as emphasis on human rights and democracy. I find that like-minded states receive more bilateral foreign aid from the United States than other states. Soft power, moreover, is more influential during the Global War on Terror as part of counterinsurgency measures to win the "hearts and minds" of the local population. Like-minded states are measured by their respect for citizens physical integrity rights, level of democratization, openness to trade, and the prevalence of Western norms and culture proxied by the social globalization index (KOF).