Developing Conformity @ all the conferences

Project researchers were busy this past summer sharing research from the Developing Conformity Project at a number of conferences in the sociology and development fields.

Recent presentations included:

Qian Wei and Liam Swiss.  “Filling Empty Promises? Foreign Aid and Human Rights Decoupling”  International Sociological Association World Congress, Toronto, July 2018.

Andrew C. Dawson and Liam Swiss. “Foreign Aid and the Rule of Law: Norm Diffusion Followed by Increased Decoupling?”  Sociology of International Organizations Pre-Conference, Philadelphia, August 2018.

Andrew C. Dawson and Liam Swiss. “Foreign Aid and the Rule of Law: Norm Diffusion Followed by Increased Decoupling?”  American Sociological Association Annual Meetings, Philadelphia, August 2018.

Sam Morton, Judyannet Muchiri, and Liam Swiss. “How Feminist is Canada’s Feminist Foreign Aid?” Swedish Development Research Conference 2018, Gothenburg, August 2018.

Muchiri and Swiss (pictured above) also recently discussed our ongoing research on Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy at the CCIC/CASID Conference in Ottawa on the panel “Canada’s International Feminist Assistance Policy: Innovations and Limitations” along with other Canadian academics and development practitioners.

Workshop: Aid, Norms, & The World Society

On May 15 & 16, 2017, the Katë Hamburger Kolleg Centre for Global Cooperation is hosting a workshop 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 workshop will feature several members of the Developing Conformity research team (Brown, Dawson, Fallon, and Swiss) presenting some of the initial results of the project.

Many thanks to the Katë Hamburger Kolleg Centre for Global Cooperation and their events team for generously supporting this event.  Thanks too to SSHRC for their ongoing support of the Developing Conformity project.

For more details about the workshop, view the program.

Foreign aid and global norms?

Foreign aid has been portrayed as a selfish tool of donor state foreign policy equally as it has been viewed as a humanitarian means of combating poverty or a neoliberal effort to control the developing world.

Researchers have paid less attention to the role aid plays in promoting globalization. Building on the World Society theory of globalization popular among sociologists, this project examines how the flow of foreign aid and other forms of development finance from North to South contributes to the spread of common policies, institutions, and norms within developing societies.

Understanding aid as a transnational mechanism of globalization promoting common policies and institutions requires that the project explore the following interrelated research questions:

  1. How is foreign aid linked to the adoption and enforcement of global norms and institutional models in the developing world?
  2. What role do foreign aid funds play in resourcing the expansion of the international networks or organizations that compose World Society?
  3. How do various forms of aid and development finance function differently when it comes to promoting institutional isomorphism?
  4. How has foreign aid’s relationship to the expansion of world society changed over time?

The Developing Conformity research project will examine these and other questions to better explain foreign aid’s role in the global diffusion of norms.