CASID event Ottawa Sept 29 Foreign Aid and Norm Diffusion: The Case of Gender Equality

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For those in the Ottawa area on September 29th,

2-3:30 pm, University of Ottawa FSS 4006


Liam Swiss will present his current work:

Foreign Aid and Norm Diffusion: The Case of Gender Equality

 In the face of sometimes significant resistance, norms of gender equality and women’s rights have been institutionalized in
almost every country of the world over the last half-century.  Even in some of the most patriarchal and gender unequal countries in the world, we see at least the tacit embrace of global norms on gender equality (GE) and women’s rights (i.e. ratification of
CEDAW, the adoption of electoral quotas, the creation of a Women’s ministry). Past research points to the influence of transnational advocacy, the global women’s movement, human rights treaties, and global conferences as key contributors to the spread of gender
equality norms throughout World Society.  Yet, despite increased studies indicating that foreign aid facilitates developing country embeddedness within World Society, no study has examined whether aid contributes to the diffusion of gender norms in the Global
South. This study examines aid’s role in norm diffusion and its effects on gender inequality to assess how it contributes to the institutionalization of gender equality norms globally. Using a dataset of bilateral development assistance flows and country level
indicators of gender equality and institutional adoption, this paper employs event history analysis and fixed-effects panel regression to show aid’s role in norm diffusion and the support of GE.  Our results contribute to an expanded understanding of the role
of aid and World Society in the diffusion of gender equality norms, and suggest a framework for understanding foreign aid’s role in norm diffusion processes more generally.

About the Author

Liam Swiss is Associate Professor of Sociology at Memorial University in St. John’s, Canada. His research examines the role of foreign aid in international norm diffusion, violence against aid workers, the politics of Canadian aid
policy, and the causes and effects of women’s political representation in the Global South. His research has appeared in journals such as the
American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Social Science Research, and
World Development. He is a past-President of the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development. Before pursuing his doctorate, he worked at the Canadian International Development Agency on Canada’s aid program to Pakistan and the South
Asia region.



Following the public presentation (3:30-5 pm) will be a Certificate Seminar for registered participants (go to Eventbrite to register) to examine strategies
for analysing foreign aid data and its relationship to gender equality programming. This part of the seminar will focus on skills development in reading and analysing aid data and statistics. This second part of the event will be facilitated by Dr. Liam Swiss.


Certificate Session 1 Sept 29 Feminist Aid, Feminist Data?: Analyzing Aid Data and Its Relationship to Gender Equality Programming

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:

Friday, 29 September 2017 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

University of Ottawa

FSS 4006

120 University Private

Ottawa, Ontario K1M0P4


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This is the first CASID Certificate Seminar in the 2017/2018 Series.

All are welcome and University of Ottawa students are especially encouraged to participate.

Maximum enrolment: 20 Certificate seminar participants

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We hope you can make it!




Rebecca Tiessen, Associate Professor/Professeure agrégée

University of Ottawa/Université d’Ottawa, School of International Development and Global Studies/École de développement international et mondialisation

120, Université (FSS room 8050), Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5 Canada, 613-562-5800 (7408),

Website :