1st Edition

World War Aid Interventionist Aid and War in Ukraine

By Igor Pellicciari Copyright 2024

    World War Aid offers a novel perspective on the unprecedented aid in the Ukrainian conflict, destined to leave an international "echo" reaching far beyond the individual historical case and the aid sector alone.

    This book clarifies the evolving scenario of a conflict that, before tanks, had long been fought on the territory of aid. The author makes arguments about aid which can be traced back to three sets of issues: 1) Ukraine’s history from its independence in 1991 until the war in 2022, that witnessed the evolution of inter-state aid sent to Kyiv. This period anticipated the geo-political dispute over the country's future, and was marked by confrontation between donors who would later become the protagonists of the war scenario. 2) The exceptionality of the Ukrainian case is discussed by specifically identifying eight peculiarities of wartime aid: the response speed of Western Bilateral Donors; the leading role and primacy of the latter over the non-governmental sector; the key influence exercised by the Ukrainian recipient; the quantity and diversification of aid involved; Russia’s conversion of aid into hybrid weapons (Weaponization of Aid); the West’s provision of weapons as primary aid (Aidization of Weapons); the excessive anticipation of post-war planning initiatives; and sanctions modeled to represent a new form of aid. 3) Based on these peculiarities, a new model of Interventionist Aid is defined, characterized by a willingness to take an active part in the crisis in which the Donors operate, in order to condition its course and outcome. By preferring tactical purposes to humanitarian ones, and prioritizing military and financial interventions, Interventionist Aid represents an absolute conceptual, political and historical novelty in inter-state aid.

    A highly original take on a key event of the 21st century, World War Aid is an invaluable text for political scientists, analysts and historians of international relations, as well as diplomats and practitioners of foreign policy and foreign aid.


    Romano Prodi

    1. Interventionist Aid

    True Aid Revolution

    Key Conclusions and Findings of this Book

    Ex-Ante Disclaimer: The Sense of this Book

    2. Aid Connecting Virus and War

    Aid, a Mainstream Word

    International Aid Public Policies to Compare Pandemic and War

    Framing Aid in the Ukrainian War

    3. Ukrainian War Symptoms in Aid History

    Aid to Ukraine (1991–2022)

    1991–2004 Aid without Reform

    2005–2010 The Pro-European Ambition

    2010–2014 Aid War

    2014–2022 The Atlanticist Strategy

    4. From Neutralist Aid to Interventionist Aid

    Ukraine 2022 vs Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992

    Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992: A Perfect Storm

    Neutralist Aid

    Ukraine 2022: A Big Game Scenario

    International Relevance

    Incidence of Exogenous Factors

    Consolidated Ukrainian Statehood

    Classic Military Warfare

    Unprecedented Aid in the War in Ukraine

    Donor– Recipient Peculiarities

    Aid Peculiarities

    Peculiarities in the Strategic Approach Adopted

    Neutralist Aid vs Interventionist Aid

    5. Peculiarities of Interventionist Aid

    The First Peculiarity: Response Speed of Western Bilateral Donors

    The Second Peculiarity: Leading Role and Primacy of Western Bilateral Donors

    The Third Peculiarity: The Recipient-Partner

    The Fourth Peculiarity: Quantity and Diversification of Aid

    The Fifth Peculiarity: Aid Turned into Hybrid Weapons (Weaponization of Aid)

    The Sixth Peculiarity: Weapons as Primary Aid (Aidization of Weapons)

    The Seventh Peculiarity: Premature Opening of the Post-conflict Phase

    The Eighth Peculiarity: Sanctions as Aid (Aidization of Sanctions)

    6. Interventionist Aid vs Pandemic Aid

    Scenario: Aid as a Central Driver of International Relations

    Actors: Rise of the Bilateral Donor

    Aid: Weapons and Vaccines to Change the Course of Events

    7. The Interventionist Aid Revolution: Political, Conceptual, Historical

    The Political Dimension: New Interventionist Aid

    The Conceptual Dimension: Anarchical Aid as a Key Component of War

    The Historical Dimension: The New “Interventionist Aid Phase”

    Postscript: The (Possible) Future of Interventionist Aid

    Interventionist Aid World Order

    Post-Democracy Aid

    World War Aid


    Igor Pellicciari is a full professor of History of International Institutions and Relations at the University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy. A senior EU expert on aid to transition countries, he is also a diplomat of the Republic of San Marino, currently Ambassador to the Kingdom of Jordan. He consulted on the Sputnik V vaccine deal that made San Marino the first covid-free state in the world. He is author of Re-Framing Foreign Aid History and Politics (Routledge, 2022).