Foreign aid, cultural scripts, and attitudes toward violence against women in Malawi
Jeffrey Swindle (University of Michigan)
Paper short abstract:
Global cultural scripts are spreading worldwide and shaping lay people's attitudes. I show that funding disbursed to foreign aid projects positively predicts rejection of violence against women among Malawians, with the most influential projects being those that challenge violence justification.
Paper long abstract:
Global cultural scripts are spreading to lay people around the world and shaping their attitudes. I focus on the exposure mechanism of foreign aid projects on people's attitudinal rejection of violence against women in Malawi. Combining three national surveys between 2010 and 2016 with a new dataset capturing foreign aid projects at the district geographic area, I show that funding disbursed to foreign aid projects positively predicts rejection of violence against women among Malawians, with the most influential projects being those that focus explicitly on challenging justificatory narratives of such violence. These results are robust to several controls for aid allocation. Theoretically, the paper demonstrates how transnational organizations shape not only the policies at the nation-state or organizational levels, but also the ideas of lay people in the grassroots of societies.
- Transnational political economies of development