Building communities of character: U.S. foreign aid policy and faith-based organizations

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In the aftermath of September 11 foreign aid has returned to the center of U.S. foreign policy. Most policymakers have approached the problems of failed or weak states—limited legitimacy, political instability, and religious terrorism or fundamentalism—by saying they are simply the result of incomplete modernization. However, this is a very misleading way to understand the global resurgence of religion. A global struggle for authenticity and development is taking place, and learning how to take cultural and religious pluralism seriously has become one of the most important aspects of foreign policy in the twenty-first century. This article examines how U.S. foreign aid policy can do this by assisting faith-based organizations help the churches, mosques, and temples in developing countries become the kind of "communities of character" that can generate the social capital that contributes to social change and development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalSAIS Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


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