Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Joel Schwartz

Committee Members

Mike Tierney

William Hausman


The argument of this thesis is that it is necessary to expand the scope of current evaluations of foreign aid provision to include an examination of empirical indicators of political theory justifications, providing an additional standard by which individual donors can determine the most beneficial use of their aid dollars. Accepting liberalism as an important political theory, exploration of three distinct liberal interpretations can be explored: libertarianism, liberal substantive ends and reconciled libertarian paternalism. Each of these interpretations aligns with a method of foreign aid provision and a corresponding aid provision organization. The GiveDirectly unconditional cash transfer program, Oportunidades conditional cash transfer program and Millennium Villages Project direct provision program will be evaluated in order to determine if they are successful in producing results congruent with their own theoretical justifications. Finally, each will be evaluated based on a holistic interpretation of liberalism, reconciled libertarian paternalism, in order to determine which program most effectively achieves the goals of liberal political theory. This organization will receive evidence to reinforce support among donors who believe contributing to the organization’s efforts furthers liberal goals in global development.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.