I study the political sociology of international development and globalization, and most of my research examines the effects of transnational processes and actors on things like foreign aid policies/programs or women’s political representation in the developing world.

Within this context, my ongoing research looks at: (1) the expansion of the global foreign aid network and its role in the diffusion of world cultural norms and models; (2) Canadian foreign aid policy; and (3) the causes and effects of women’s political representation in low- and middle-income countries.

Details of some of my past research projects and publications are listed below. A full list of publications is available in my CV.



Swiss, L. (2018) The Globalization of Foreign Aid: Developing Consensus. London: Routledge.


Swiss, L. (2009). Decoupling Values from Action: An Event-History Analysis of the Election of Women to Parliament in the Developing World, 1945–90. International Journal of Comparative Sociology50(1), 69–95.

Swiss, L., & Bourdais, C. L. (2009). Father–Child Contact After Separation: The Influence of Living Arrangements. Journal of Family Issues30(5), 623–652.×08331023

Swiss, L. (2011). Security Sector Reform and Development Assistance: Explaining the Diffusion of Policy Priorities among Donor Agencies. Qualitative Sociology34(2), 371–393.

Swiss, L. (2012). The adoption of women and gender as development assistance priorities: An event history analysis of world polity effects. International Sociology27(1), 96–119.

Fallon, K. M., Swiss, L., & Viterna, J. (2012). Resolving the Democracy Paradox: Democratization and Women’s Legislative Representation in Developing Nations, 1975 to 2009. American Sociological Review77(3), 380–408.

Swiss, L., Fallon, K. M., & Burgos, G. (2012). Does critical mass matter? Women’s political representation and child health in developing countries. Social Forces91(2), 531–558.

Brown, S., & Swiss, L. (2013). The hollow ring of donor commitment: Country concentration and the decoupling of aid-effectiveness norms from donor practice. Development Policy Review31(6), 737–755.

Bourdais, C. L., Girard, M., Swiss, L., & Évelyne Lapierre-Adamcyk. (2013). Entre famille et vieillissement :Impact des transformations familiales aux âges avancés 1 . International Journal of Canadian Studies47, 9–40.

Anderson, M. J., & Swiss, L. (2014). Peace Accords and the Adoption of Electoral Quotas for Women in the Developing World, 1990–2006. Politics & Gender, 10(01), 33–61.

Jones, R. C., & Swiss, L. (2014). Gendered Leadership: The Effects of Female Development Agency Leaders on Foreign Aid Spending. Sociological Forum29(3), 571–586.

Swiss, L., & Longhofer, W. (2015). Membership Has Its Privileges: Shared International Organizational Affiliation and Foreign Aid Flows, 1978–2010. Social Forces94(4), 1769–1793.

Swiss, L., & Brown, S. (2015). The aid orphan myth. Third World Quarterly36(2), 240–256.

Stoddart, M. C. J., Swiss, L., Power, N., & Felt, L. F. (2016). Taking Care of Companion Animals: Institutional Policies and Practices in Newfoundland and Labrador. Society and Animals24(5), 423–444.

Swiss, L. (2016). A Sociology of Foreign Aid and the World Society. Sociology Compass10(1), 65–73.

Swiss, L., & Fallon, K. M. (2016). Women’s Transnational Activism, Norm Cascades, and Quota Adoption in The Developing World. Pol & Gen, 1–30.

Swiss, L. (2016). World Society and the Global Foreign Aid Network. Sociology of Development2(4), 342–374.

Swiss, L., & Fallon, K. M. (2017). Women’s Transnational Activism, Norm Cascades, and Quota Adoption in the Developing World. Politics and Gender13(3), 458–487.

Ricciardelli, R., Crichton, H., Swiss, L., Spencer, D. C., & Adorjan, M. (2017). From knowledge to action? The Youth Criminal Justice Act and use of extrajudicial measures in youth policing. Police Practice and Research18(6), 599–611.

Sano, Y., Kaida, L., & Swiss, L. (2017). Earnings of Immigrants in Traditional and Non-Traditional Destinations: A Case Study from Atlantic Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration18(3), 961–980.

Swiss, L. (2017). Foreign aid allocation from a network perspective: The effect of global ties. Social Science Research63, 111–123.

Fallon, K. M., Mazar, A., & Swiss, L. (2017). The Development Benefits of Maternity Leave. World Development96, 102–118.

Banchani, E., & Swiss, L. (2019). The impact of foreign aid on maternal mortality. Politics and Governance7(2), 53–67.

Gulrajani, N., & Swiss, L. (2019). Donor proliferation to what ends? New donor countries and the search for legitimacy. Canadian Journal of Development Studies40(3), 348–368.

Dawson, A., & Swiss, L. (2020). Foreign aid and the rule of law: Institutional diffusion versus legal reach. The British Journal of Sociology.

Morton, S. E., Muchiri, J., & Swiss, L. (2020). Which feminism(s)? For whom? Intersectionality in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. International Journal.

Tiessen, R., Smith, H., & Swiss, L. (2020). Canada’s evolving feminist foreign policy: Lessons learned from 2017 to 2020. International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis.

Davis, J.-M., & Swiss, L. (2020). Need, Merit, Self-Interest or Convenience? Exploring Aid Allocation Motives of Grassroots International NGOs. Journal of International Development.

Swiss, L., & Ilonze, P. C. (2021). Taking foreign aid and decoupling seriously: a framework for research. Third World Quarterly42(7), 1455–1474.

Wei, Q., & Swiss, L. (2020). Filling Empty Promises? Foreign Aid and Human Rights Decoupling, 1981-2011. The Sociological Quarterly, 1–20.

Book Chapters

Swiss, L. (2014). Mimicry and Motives: Canadian Aid Allocation in Longitudinal Perspective. In Rethinking Canadian Aid (pp. 101–124). University of Ottawa Press.

Swiss, L. (2014). Globalization and Social Change. In Principles of Sociology: Canadian Perspectives (pp. 299–317). Oxford University Press.

Swiss, L. (2016). Mimicry and motives: Canadian aid allocation in longitudinal perspective. Rethinking Canadian Aid: Second Edition, 107–131.

Swiss, L. (2012). Gender, security, and instrumentalism: Canada’s foreign aid in support of national interest? Struggling for Effectiveness: CIDA and Canadian Foreign Aid, 135–158.


Swiss, L., & Maxwell, S. (2010). A New National Project for Canadian Development Cooperation.