Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

Document Type



The US has made an effective practice of using aid allocations as leverage to reach US foreign policy goals. One way the US reaches its goals is by altering the voting behavior in the UN so that states are compliant with US interests. There has been debate about the ability of the US to alter UN voting behavior, but this study found evidence that the US can effectively use foreign aid to influence UN voting compliance. This study will analyze 149 US aid receiving countries over a 19-year period and uses important votes to the US, not all UN resolutions. Using the important resolutions is vital to this study because I ask if the US can influence voting compliance when it is important to US interests. The best way to analyze if the US can influence UN votes when it needs to is by examining the occurrences when policymakers would put forth the effort and resources. In addition this thesis operationalizes two forms of compliance, one that measures half compliance, where abstentions and absences are treated as neutral votes, and the other that gauges active compliance, where abstentions and absences are treated as non-compliance. The second analysis examines the different effects of economic aid and military aid on voting compliance. Both economic and military aid effect half compliance, but only one form of military aid has an effect on active compliance. The third analysis tests if the US uses aid more effectively as an inducement before the vote or as rewards/punishments after the fact, my findings show that generally inducements are more effective at coercing compliance. The last analysis studies regional variations in UN voting compliance. The dummy variables for Africa, Asia, Eurasia and the Middle East have negative correlations with voting compliance, while Latin America and Eastern Europe have positive relationships with UN voting compliance. These four analyses help to better understand the relationship between US aid and UN voting compliance and add to some of the debates in this literature.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Cameron Thies