Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Nitsan Chorev

+1 401 863 7698
111 Thayer Street, Room 210

Downloadable CV

Nitsan Chorev

Director, Graduate Program in Development
Harmon Family Professor of Sociology and International & Public Affairs


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 The World Health Organization between North and South (Cornell University Press, 2012), Remaking U.S. Trade Policy: From Protectionism to Globalization (Cornell University Press, 2007), and numerous other publications. Her forthcoming book is on foreign aid and industrial development, which she studies by looking at the role of international assistance in the emergence and upgrading of pharmaceutical production in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Her interest in global health and international influences also shapes another current project, on the pharmacy profession in Tanzania and Kenya.


Making Medicines for Africa: The Transnational Origins of Local Production

Access to medicines is one of the most pressing issues facing poor countries, especially those suffering from high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS. A major debate among health experts is whether local pharmaceutical production in industrializing countries may hinder or help achieve the goal of improved access to medicines. At its core, the debate is over the possibility of pockets of successful industrialization in countries that are not fully industrialized.

This project contributes to this debate by looking at the experience of local drug manufacturers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. I look at the conditions that allowed pharmaceutical sectors to emerge in East Africa in the 1980s/1990s and the conditions that made some of the local firms improve their quality standards in the 2000s. I compare this experience to the more successful cases of India, where many of the drugs in East Africa come from, and China. I conclude that pockets of industrialization are possible in spite of local difficulties because of particular – and often quite controversial - types of transnational links.

Current Projects

Access to Medicines in the Global South

Re-Examining Global Policy Agendas via Interactive, South-Initiated North-South Dialogues

Global Governance and Transnational Civil Society


“Neoliberalism and Supra-National Institutions,” pp. 260-269, in SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism, edited by Damien Cahill, Melinda Cooper, Martijn Konings and David Primrose. 2018

“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 Health Organizations as Purposive and Strategic Actors: Theoretical Gains and Methodological Implications.” 2016. Hygiea Internationalis: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the History of Public Health 13(1): 19-47.

“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.