International Volunteering: Smart Power
27 July 2006

This is a policy brief, published June 2006, from the Global Economy and Development Center of the Brookings Institution.

Extract from the Conclusions:

"Americans engaging in volunteer work in other countries encourage more favorable attitudes among foreigners toward America and generate greater understanding among Americans of foreign perspectives. A more robust cross-cultural dialogue could make the United States less dependent on hard power, which has high budget costs.

"An effort to scale up international volunteer programs in the NGO and corporate sectors will begin to rectify more than three decades of relative neglect by the federal government. The benefits in terms of national security and economic wellbeing provide a compelling rationale for investing more of the federal budget to support these programs across the board."

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