This thesis is an attempt to present a description, examination and evaluation of Australia's past and present foreign aid policy. It can be particularly useful because the beginning of the 1980's has witnessed the emergence of a new global attitude towards foreign aid.
In order to adequately assess Australia's response to this new attitude, it is first of all necessary to review the present world political and economic environment in which foreign aid must function. In so doing, the thesis briefly outlines the development prospects of all participants in the world economy. Then it establishes a benchmark against which Australia's aid can be effectively appraised. This is achieved by formulating the present global rationale of aid.
Having created the necessary groundwork, the thesis then defines and critically examines Australia's foreign aid policy, seeking the inconsistencies and contradictions which will have a bearing on its assessment. This is followed by an empirical analysis of Australia's foreign aid record in order to assess this policy in practice.
The thesis concludes in favour of the comparative effectiveness of Australia's foreign aid, and makes a number of recommendations for enhancing the potential of such aid. It also confirms that, although Australia is temporarily out-of step with other major aid donors, it generally adheres to the typical 'western' attitude towards foreign aid.