Book Discussion on ‘Aid Imperium: United States Foreign Policy and Human Rights in Post-Cold War Southeast Asia’
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
About this event
Salvador Regilme, Discussant: Steve Heder (SOAS)
Does foreign aid promote human rights? As the world’s largest aid donor, the United States has provided foreign assistance to more than 200 countries. This seminar presentation discusses the key arguments and findings from the forthcoming book Aid Imperium: United States Foreign Policy and Human Rights in Post-Cold War Southeast Asia (2021, University of Michigan Press, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies Book Series). Deploying global numerical data on US foreign aid and comparative historical analysis of America’s post–Cold War foreign policies in Southeast Asia, the book highlights how US strategic assistance impact physical integrity rights outcomes in recipient countries, particularly in ways that previous quantitative studies have systematically ignored. The presentation underscores the active political agency of Global South states and actors as they negotiate and chart their political trajectories with the United States as the core state of the international system. It focuses on the variation in human rights outcomes in Southeast Asia vis-à-vis the varying strategic purposes and amounts of US foreign aid over time, particularly from the early 1990s to 20116. The core argument maintains that the convergence of donor and recipient governments’ interests as well as the domestic legitimacy of the donor government shape physical integrity rights outcomes.
Salvador Santino F. Regilme Jr. is tenured University Lecturer in International Relations and Human Rights at the Institute for History, Leiden University in the Netherlands. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Aid Imperium: United States Foreign Policy and Human Rights in Post-Cold War Southeast Asia (University of Michigan Press), co-editor of the forthcoming volume Human Rights at Risk: International Institutions, American Power, and the Future of Dignity (Rutgers University Press), and co-editor of American Hegemony and the Rise of Emerging Powers (Routledge, 2018). He holds a joint PhD in Political Science and North American Studies from the Freie Universität Berlin, and he previously studied at Yale, Osnabrück, and Göttingen. He is the 2019 Inaugural Winner of the International Studies Association’s Asia-Pacific Best Conference Paper Award.
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