The Globalization of Foreign Aid


My book, The Globalization of Foreign Aid: Developing Consensus, will be published by Routledge in December 2017.

The book explores how aid agencies have been shaped by external influences to adopt incredibly similar policy priorities and approaches.  I show how these external influences interface with individuals and a series of micro-level social processes and mechanisms operating within aid donor agencies to yield common outcomes across diverse donor contexts.

With one case study on donors and gender equality, and another on donors and security-sector reform, the book offers both quantitative macro-level and qualitative micro-level evidence to defend my claims about how the globalization of foreign aid has occurred and why it matters for the aid sector going forward.

For more information about the book or to pre-order: https://www.routledge.com/The-Globalization-of-Foreign-Aid-Developing-Consensus/Swiss/p/book/9781138569843

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:

Download (PDF, 84KB)

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