Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA)


Political Science & Public Administration

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Political Science and Public Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Joshua Gellers

Second Advisor

Dr. Ronald Lukens-Bull

Department Chair

Dr. Nicholas Seabrook

College Dean

Dr. Kaveri Subrahmanyam


The United States has been working in close collaboration with the government of Bangladesh (GoB) to promote democratic norms and practices in the country. Over the past five decades, various US agencies have provided about $8 billion in foreign aid to Bangladesh (U.S. Department of State, 2022) with a significant percentage of these funds devoted to promoting democratic governance in the recipient nation. This study seeks to investigate the impact of US aid on democratization in Bangladesh from 2008 to 2020. Utilizing bi-variate statistical models, this essay analyzes four distinct measures of US-funded projects that directly promote democracy and their impact on the level of democracy measured in 5 different ways assessed by Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem).

The results suggest that US aid has a positive impact on promoting all forms of democracy in Bangladesh. Specifically, higher percentages of projects that directly promote democracy are associated with a significant improvement in democratic conditions. However, there is little evidence that remaining operationalized measures, including the number of projects, the amount of money, and the percentage of the total amount of money spent on such projects, have positive impacts on the promotion of democracy. This study offers important insights into effectiveness of US initiatives designed to promote democratization in Bangladesh.

Available for download on Saturday, May 04, 2024