Aid, Norms, & World Society Workshop

On May 15 & 16, the Katë Hamburger Kolleg Centre for Global Cooperation is hosting a workshop I have organized on foreign aid, norms, and the World Society.

Bringing together sociologists, political scientists, economists, and other development scholars studying foreign aid from an institutionalist perspective, the workshop is intended to be a starting point for discussion of how to better understand aid through a World Society lens (the focus of my Developing Conformity research project).

Many thanks to the Katë Hamburger Kolleg Centre for Global Cooperation and their events team for generously supporting this event.

For more information about the workshop, check out the preliminary schedule below:

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The Development Benefits of Maternity Leave

Maternity leave policies have been adopted in a majority of countries globally, including most low- and middle-income countries. Written with Kathleen M. Fallon (Stony Brook University) and Alissa Mazar (McGill University), my latest article examines the effects of maternity leave on development in these countries. We look specifically at maternity leave’s influence on fertility and infant/child mortality rates. Our findings show that maternity leaves can lead to improved infant/child mortality and fertility rates, but that these effects are moderated by the national income and education levels in a country.

“The Development Benefits of Maternity Leave” is available now in World Development, or a preprint version can be read at SocArxiv.

See the World Development site here:

Why do countries become donors?

Nilima Gulrajani (Overseas Development Institute) and I have co-authored a report for the ODI on new donor countries, their motives and the implications of donor proliferation.  The abstract is as follows:

Despite growing aid fatigue in the global North, the number of bilateral aid-providing states is at an all-time high and continues to expand. In this paper, we examine the paradox of new donor countries’ (NDCs) dramatic growth by asking two questions. First, what is driving donor proliferation? And second, what sort of donors are emerging from this rapid increase? Drawing on sociological theories of normative diffusion, we argue that an important driver is the desire to legitimise one’s reputation as an advanced and influential state. We study the consequences of donor proliferation through a quantitative analysis of 26 NDCs, comparing their achievements to those of traditional donors on three metrics of aid quantity and quality. Our results reveal that NDCs may be adopting the traditional donor form, but not its associated functions and responsibilities, creating a gap between policy intent and practical implementation. While NDCs are contributing to global development’s ongoing viability, vigilance is required to preserve its robustness.

Click here to read more: https://www.odi.org/publications/10747-why-do-countries-become-donors-assessing-drivers-and-implications-donor-proliferation

World Society and Foreign Aid

I am excited to report that a new article I first posted about earlier in 2016 (here) is now in print in the latest issue of the journal Sociology of Development

Here is the abstract:

This article analyzes the relationship between foreign aid and globalization to explain developing-country ties to world society and argues that foreign aid can be viewed as a recursive mechanism through which donor states refine and spread international norms and organizational ties. Using network data on foreign aid relationships between countries, this article analyzes the effects of aid on human rights treaty ratification and international organization memberships in a sample of 135 less-developed countries from the period of 1975–2008. Results of random effects panel regression models show that increased aid network centrality brokers increased country ties to world society, supporting a novel interpretation of foreign aid as a transnational process of political globalization.