Watson Institute at Brown University
Africa Initiative
Nitsan Chorev

Nitsan Chorev

+1 401 863 7698
111 Thayer Street, Room 210

Downloadable CV

Nitsan Chorev

Harmon Family Professor of Sociology
Professor of International and Public Affairs

Areas of Interest: Global Health, Foreign Aid, International Organizations, Globalization, Neoliberalism.


Nitsan Chorev is the Harmon Family Professor of Sociology and International and Public Affairs. She is currently the Director of the Graduate Program in Development (GPD). She was formerly a member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and a fellow at the UCLA International Institute. 

She is the author of three books. Give and Take: Developmental Foreign Aid and the Pharmaceutical Industry in East Africa (Princeton University Press, 2020), The World Health Organization between North and South (Cornell University Press, 2012), and Remaking U.S. Trade Policy: From Protectionism to Globalization (Cornell University Press, 2007). She is also the author of numerous articles and other publications.


Give and Take looks at local drug manufacturing in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, from the early 1980s to the present, to understand the impact of foreign aid on industrial development. While foreign aid has been attacked by critics as wasteful, counterproductive, or exploitative, the book makes a clear case for the effectiveness of what I call “developmental foreign aid.”

Against the backdrop of Africa’s pursuit of economic self-sufficiency, the battle against AIDS and malaria, and bitter negotiations over affordable drugs, the book offers an important corrective to popular views on foreign aid and development. The book shows that when foreign aid has provided markets, monitoring, and mentoring, it has supported the emergence and upgrading of local production. In instances where donors were willing to procure local drugs, they created new markets that gave local entrepreneurs an incentive to produce new types of drugs. In turn, when donors enforced exacting standards as a condition to access those markets, they gave these producers an incentive to improve quality standards. And where technical know-how was not readily available and donors provided mentoring, local producers received the guidance necessary for improving production processes. 


Give and Take: Developmental Foreign Aid and the Pharmaceutical Industry in East Africa. 2020. Princeton University Press. 

“Making Medicines in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda in the AIDS Era: Toward a Sociology of Developmental Foreign Aid.” 2019. Sociology of Development 5(2): 115-146. 

“Professionals and the Professions in the Global South: An Introduction” 2017. Sociology of Development 3(3): 197-210 (with Andrew Schrank).

“Making Knowledge Legitimate: Transnational Advocacy Networks’ Campaigns Against Tobacco, Infant Formula, and Pharmaceuticals.” 2017. Global Networks 17(2): 255-280 (with Tatiana Andia).

“International Organizations: Loose and Tight Coupling in the Development Regime.” Special issue of Studies in Comparative International Development, edited by Barbara Stallings and Peter Evans. 2016. 51(1): 81-102 (with Sarah Babb)

“Narrowing the Gaps in Global Disputes: The Case of Counterfeits in Kenya.” 2015. Studies in Comparative International Development 50(2): 157-186.