Vote for aid? How economic interaction with the United States affects countries voting patterns at the UN General Assembly

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Primakov Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Moscow, Russia

Vote for aid? How economic interaction with the United States affects countries voting patterns at the UN General Assembly
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 2 (65). P. 25-41
DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2023-2-25-41

Abstract. The article investigates how the dynamics of economic aid from the United States and its trade and investment relations with a country affect the latter’s voting solidarity at the United Nations General Assembly. First, the approaches of Democrats and Republicans to financing the UN in connection with voting in the General Assembly are delineated. It is worth noting that Democrats tend to support multilateral institutions and policies, while Republicans have historically favored unilateral foreign policy. Still, both parties consistently prioritize allocating the U.S. funding for the United Nations to certain countries. The author uses data on financial flows directed toward multilateral institutions, along with other U.S. bilateral foreign aid, trade, and investment statistics, to explore whether economic interconnectivity affects the degree of the UN member states’ solidarity with the United States’ voting patterns at the General Assembly. It is concluded that economic relations with the United States do not significantly determine the increase in voting solidarity at the General Assembly. A group of 58 states is identified that, over a 25-year period (from 1996 to 2021), displayed a growing alignment with the United States in situations where it voted differently from the majority of other UN members. However, the increase in aid, trade, and investments from the United States to this group is primarily driven just by 13 major U.S. economic partners and aid recipients. Remarkably, the voting behavior of this select group of 13 states mirrors that of the remaining members of this focus group of 58 states.

The article was prepared within the project “Post-crisis world order: challenges and technologies, competition and cooperation” supported by the grant from Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Program for Research Projects in Priority Areas of Scientific and Technological Development (Agreement 075-15-2020-783).


Keywords: U.S. foreign policy, USAID, foreign aid, economic interdependence, UN General Assembly


About author

Alexey Davydov is a senior researcher at the Center of North American Studies, Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


For citation:
Davydov A. Vote for aid? How economic interaction with the United States affects countries voting patterns at the UN General Assembly // Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 2 (65). P. 25-41. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2023-2-25-41



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