Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Emeritus Professor Geoff Wood

Emeritus Professor



Geof Wood, now Emeritus Professor, was formerly Dean of Faculty from 2005-2008; Head of the Department of Economics and International Development from 2000-2005; founder-director of the Institute for International Policy Analysis (IFIPA) from 1998 to 2005, member of the Wellbeing in Developing Countries ESRC Research Group from 2002-2007, member of the Development Studies RAE panel 2008, University Research Advisor from 2008-2010 when he formally retired.

He is a sociologist, specialising in International Development, with a regional focus on South Asia. However for the whole of his academic career, he has worked in strong interdisciplinary settings, especially alongside economics but also a range of other social and natural science disciplines as well. His research in over 40 years since graduation has therefore included: development administration (Zambia); rural development (villages in Bihar, India, and Bangladesh, and more recently Northern Pakistan); irrigation systems and their common property management; rural natural resource management (fisheries, forests); microfinance; social mobilisation and social development; governance; poverty and livelihoods in both urban and rural contexts; and the application of concepts from social policy to thinking about poverty eradication, welfare and development in poor countries, leading in particular to writing about rights and security.  This work has been primarily financed by: the ERSC; the Ford Foundation; the Swedish International Development Authority; the UK Department for International Development; the Aga Khan Foundation; and the World Bank.

Geof is also currently Chair of the board of INTRAC; editorial Board member of JID; member of DSA Council (with reponsibility for conferences); and President of the Development Studies Association for the UK and Ireland.  He has been admitted as an Academician ot the Academy of Social Sciences, so has AcSS after his name. He shares a grant with Dr Joe Devine on 'Working with Extreme Poor in Bangladesh' and was part of the team which won the Queen's Anniversary Award.

Both research and teaching have been extensively conducted overseas in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal, Venezuela, Peru, Zambia and Tanzania.

Before the formation of the Department of Economics & International Development, he taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the School of Social Sciences, as well as extensive supervision of PhD students. In the past, therefore, he has taught courses in: sociology of developing societies; political sociology; agrarian change; sociology and anthropology of development (to Masters courses); livelihoods analysis (Masters courses); natural resource management and sustainable development (Masters courses). He founded the cross-University Masters programme in Environmental Science, Policy and Planning. With the formation of the Department and IFIPA, Geof Wood has increasingly focused his attention upon postgraduate teaching (taught programmes and research students), as well as contributing to the formation of new programmes (such as the Masters in Globalisation & International Policy Analysis).

Research interests

  • Social Development
  • Agrarian Change in South Asia
  • Irrigation and Water Management
  • Urban Livelihoods
  • Social Policy in Development Contexts
  • Wellbeing and Socio-economic Security

Countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan


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