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University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies


UCCGS Leverhulme Visiting Professor

Professor Stephen Brown, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa (Canada) was the Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the Centre for Gender Studies for the academic year 2021-22, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) and Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge.

“During my time at the Centre for Gender Studies and CRASSH, I worked primarily on a project on Foreign Aid and LGBTI Rights in the Global South: International and Local Dynamics, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and my Leverhulme Visiting Professorship.

This project analyses a relatively new phenomenon whereby Western donor governments and international organizations increasingly pay attention and provide support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights in the “Global South”. LGBTI rights are, in fact, at the forefront of the struggle to advance human rights around the world, with a very uneven response across and even within regions. The role of foreign aid in this process has not yet been systematically documented and analysed, despite its growing importance and potential impact. I am interested in who is doing what in this area, what works and what does not, what unintended consequences might arise and how to remedy them. I also began work on a new SSHRC-funded project, “Strategic Litigation and the Decriminalization of Homosexuality in Sub-Saharan Africa”, which will involve in-depth studies of constitutional challenges in Kenya, Botswana and Mauritius.

I am a Professor at the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa (Canada), where I am also affiliated with the School of International Development and Global Studies. My research focuses mainly on the intersection of the policies and practices of Northern countries and other international actors with politics in Southern countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. I have published on democratization, political violence, peacebuilding and transitional justice/rule of law in Angola, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Rwanda. Much of my recent research has been on foreign aid, for which I have conducted fieldwork in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mongolia and Peru. My current research focuses on domestic and international dimensions of LGBTI rights. Since 2009, I have held visiting researcher positions in Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa and the United Kingdom".

Pronouns: he/him.

Key and recent publications list

Brown, Stephen. “Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine fix”. Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, advance access, (9 pp.).

Brown, Stephen. “The impact of COVID-19 on development assistance”. International Journal, vol. 76, no. 1 (2021), pp. 42-54.

Brown, Stephen. “Going Viral: Development Assistance under the Trudeau Minority Government”. In David Carment and Richard Nimijean, eds. Political Turmoil in a Tumultuous World: Canada Among Nations 2020. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021, pp. 251-272.

Aylward, Erin and Stephen Brown. “Sexual orientation and gender identity in Canada’s ‘feminist’ international assistance”. International Journal, vol. 75, no. 3 (2020), pp. 313-328.

Brown, Stephen“The Rise and Fall of the Aid Effectiveness Norm”. European Journal of Development Research, vol. 32, no. 4 (2020), pp. 1230-1248.

Brown, Stephen. “Foreign Aid, the Mining Sector and Democratic Ownership: The Case of Canadian Assistance to Peru”. Development Policy Review, vol. 38, no. S1 (2020), pp. 13-31.

Brown, Stephen. “A Samaritan State?, Canadian Foreign Aid, and the Challenges of Policy Coherence for Development”. In Greg Donaghy and David Webster, eds. A Samaritan State Revisited: Historical Perspectives on Canadian Foreign Aid. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2019, pp. 311-329.

Brown, Stephen and Jonathan Fisher. “Aid Donors, Democracy and the Developmental State in Ethiopia”. Democratization, vol. 27, no. 2 (2020), pp. 185-203.

Brown, Stephen. “All About That Base? Branding and the Domestic Politics of Canadian Foreign Aid”. Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, vol. 24, no. 2 (2018), pp. 145-164 • Winner of the 2018 prize for best article published in Canadian Foreign Policy Journal.

Brown, Stephen. “Foreign Aid and National Ownership in Mali and Ghana”. Forum for Development Studies, vol. 44, no. 3 (2017), pp. 335-356.

Epprecht, Marc and Stephen Brown. “Queer Canada? The Harper Government and International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Rights”. In Rebecca Tiessen and Stephen Baranyi, eds. Obligations and Omissions: Canada’s Ambiguous Actions on Gender Equality. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press University, 2017, pp. 69-90.

Brown, Stephen and Liam Swiss. “Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy: Game Changer or Fig Leaf?”. In Katherine A.H. Graham and Allan M. Maslove, eds. How Ottawa Spends, 2017-2018. Ottawa: Carleton University, 2017, pp. 117-131

Brown, Stephen, Molly den Heyer and David R. Black, eds. Rethinking Canadian Aid. Second Edition. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2016, 339 pages

Brown, Stephen and Jörn Grävingholt, eds. The Securitization of Foreign Aid. Basingstoke, UK and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, 296 pages.

Brown, Stephen. “Canadian Aid Policy during the Harper Years”. In Adam Chapnick and Christopher J. Kukucha, eds. The Harper Era in Canadian Foreign Policy: Parliament, Politics, and Canada’s Global Posture. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2016, pp. 167-180.

Brown, Stephen. “The Instrumentalization of Foreign Aid under the Harper Government”. Studies in Political Economy, vol. 97, no. 1 (2016), pp. 18-36