The latest article from my Developing Conformity research project has been published in The Sociological Quarterly. Co-authored with Dr. Qian Wei, the article examines the relationship of bilateral foreign aid flows to human rights decoupling in aid-receiving countries.
Despite extensive literature examining human rights decoupling between treaty commitments and practices, little research has addressed how to fill these empty promises. This paper proposes a mechanism neglected in prior studies that might play an important role in narrowing human rights decoupling and improving world society model compliance: foreign aid. Using longitudinal analysis on a sample of 120 aid-receiving countries between 1981 and 2011, we find: total aid has a significant effect on reducing human rights decoupling; aid to good governance shows a similar pattern but the impact is much weaker; by contrast, aid to human rights has limited influence.
Andrew Dawson (York University, Glendon Campus) and I have published the latest article from the Developing Conformity project in the British Journal of Sociology. The article is available to all via open access.
This paper examines the role of bilateral foreign aid in supporting the diffusion and enactment of common models and institutions of the rule of law among aid‐recipient low‐ and middle‐income countries. We ask whether aid targeted at security‐sector reform and the rule of law influences the adoption of constitutional and legal reforms over time (institutional diffusion), and whether aid also supports more effective implementation of the rule of law, writ large (legal reach). We use event history and fixed‐effects panel regression models to examine a sample of 154 countries between 1995 and 2013 to answer these questions. Our findings suggest that aid does increase the likelihood of adopting several rule of law reforms, but its effect on increasing the depth or quality of rule of law over time within countries is much less substantial. These findings suggest that though aid may play a role in supporting the diffusion of models contributing to state isomorphism among countries, it is less effective at increasing the pervasiveness and quality of such model’s implementation. This discrepancy between the effectiveness of bilateral aid in promoting law on the books versus law in action in aid recipient countries calls into question the current approach to rule of law reforms.
The first review of my book The Globalization of Foreign Aid: Developing Consensus has been published in the Canadian Journal of Development Studies by Brianna Scrimshaw Botchwey (University of Toronto). Really happy to see it! Read more here:
I was interviewed as part of a panel discussion on Canadian Sociology for a pilot podcast episode of “International Perspectives on Sociology” run by Joe Cohen of CUNY. Rima Wilkes, Howard Ramos, Dale Ballucci, and I really enjoyed the chance to chat with Joe about Canadian Sociology, its differences from its American neighbour, and some of the the people and work being done in Canada that excite us. Have a listen here: