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Can Humanitarianism Instill Good Will? American Tsunami Aid and Sri Lankan Reactions

Sushama Rajapaksa, Lauren Dundes
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1528-3585.2006.00248.x 231-238 First published online: 1 August 2006


One means of curbing anti-Americanism is to promote positive views of the United States and its people. The purpose of this study was to assess whether nearly a billion dollars pledged by the United States for tsunami aid instilled good will among Sri Lankans. Of 478 respondents, most considered both the American government (75%) and the American people (84%) to be generous. Half claimed that they liked the American people, a substantial increase over attitudes measured 2 years back, post-9/11. While fewer than half supported U.S. involvement in Iraq, the extent of this support increased significantly from post-9/11 levels, suggesting that humanitarian aid may result in broadened support for unrelated U.S. initiatives.

Key words
  • tsunami
  • aid
  • humanitarianism
  • Sri Lanka
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