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Foreign Aid and Politics in Nepal: A Case Study by Eugene Bramer Mihaly 2002, pp. lx + 238 ISBN 99933 43 40 4 US$ 20
First published in 1965, this study of foreign aid has now become a recognised classic on the subject. When the author began his research, Nepal was receiving assistance from an extraordinarily large number of countries and organisations. Donor interest in Nepal in those initial years was driven mainly by the fact that the country occupied a strategic position as a frontline state against communist China. But, as the author found out, there were good reasons to doubt the widely accepted assumption that all underdeveloped countries are being swept by a ‘revolution of rising expectations’. He also reached the startling conclusion that on balance the impact of foreign aid has probably harmed rather than furthered Nepal’s long-range prospects for economic growth and political stability. This was due in large part to the equivocal nature of the aid projects themselves, which intended to contribute to the country’s economic development but were also designed to advance the political interests of the sponsors.
This edition includes an introductory essay by Sudhindra Sharma which gives a wide overview of foreign aid at work in Nepal over the past fifty years. Eugene B. Mihaly is a writer, consultant, educator and public servant. Since 1973, he has headed Mihaly International Corporation, an advisory and project development firm. He has served as a policy planner in the US Agency for International Development and in a series of senior positions in the Peace Corps administration. In 1989, he initiated an international consulting programme for MBA candidates at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and in 1996, became an Adjunct Professor and director of a similar programme at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.