Since the overthrow of Egypt’s democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi earlier this month, US government officials have made painstaking efforts to avoid calling the ouster a military coup d’état. Why the semantic sensitivity? Because according to the FY2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act (PL 112-74), all US foreign assistance to the Egyptian government must be terminated if the military’s actions did, in fact, constitute a coup.
CGD Policy Blogs
Cutting development assistance to a country after some negative political shock is undoubtedly a well-intentioned effort by donors to incentivize better political institutions. Aid donors do not want to be seen to support coups, which would come with reputational and political risks at home. Instead, the argument is made that donors should offer a carrot and a stick to developing countries to encourage better institutions.