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University of Bath

Members of the Centre for Development Studies

Our members are mainly located within the Department of Social & Policy Sciences. We welcome members from across the University of Bath and beyond

All Centre for Development Studies members are actively involved in research related to international development. The research carried out by our staff and visiting fellows touches on many issues and geographies. However, our core research themes reflect four pervasive issues:

  • the interaction between change at local, national and global levels
  • the dynamics of inequality, poverty, gender and other forms of discrimination
  • the importance (and challenge) of doing research spanning different academic disciplines
  • retaining academic independence while also engaging directly in policy, practice and power relations.

    Centre co-Directors

    Michael Bloomfield

    Dr. Michael Bloomfield is co-Director of the Centre for Development Studies and Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in International Development in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. He is also a Research Associate at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID) and a Senior Research Fellow at the Earth System Governance Project (ESG). He researches global environmental and health governance with a focus on business power and the politics of global supply chains.

    Aurelie Charles

    Dr Aurelie Charles is co-Director of the Centre for Development Studies, as well as an economist and Senior Lecturer in Global Sustainability at the University of Bath. Her expertise is on group behaviour in socio-ecological interactions and understanding and measuring herd-behaviour and social norms and their impact on individual decision-making, well-being and resource entitlements. Dr Charles’ current research projects evolve around sustainable earnings, group inequality mapping, and cross-disciplinary approaches to climate justice.


    Aidan Barlow

    Aidan Barlow focuses on research in the political economy of the extractives sector in Sub-Saharan Africa through a temporal lens. In particular, he is interested in the hydrocarbon sector in East Africa, and the battery metals sector in Southern Africa. Aidan also has research experience and interests in the political economy of agriculture, agro-industrialisation, and agricultural value chains in Southern and Eastern Africa. Aidan’s work is largely interdisciplinary in scope, primarily drawing upon political geography and political economy approaches, with a focus on the politics of time/temporalities to further understanding of the politics of extraction and development.

    Ajit Mishra

    Ajit Mishra works in the broad area of development economics. One of Ajit’s long-standing research interests is the study of governance and corruption in the context of economic development. Ajit use theoretical, empirical and experimental methods to understand corruption and to work towards better corruption-control mechanisms. Ajit also works on the conceptualisation and measurement of vulnerability and has worked on issues related to inequality and its ramifications.

    Alejandro De Coss-Corzo

    Alejandro is an interdisciplinary social scientist working at the intersections of human geography, urban sociology, and anthropological approaches to infrastructure. His research focuses on the techno-politics of water in Mexico City, analysing how hydraulic infrastructures produce and reproduce power, inequality and their spatial configurations across time. Through this research, Alejandro contributes to scholarship that critically engages with state-led development, modernisation projects, and urbanisation.

    Alexandra Ziemann

    Dr Alexandra Ziemann is a Lecturer in Global Public Health based in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences. Her applied research is in the field of implementation science in public health, healthcare, and social services, with a focus on improving the scale-up of practice and policy changes across diverse contexts. Current work investigates the influence of external context such as cultural, political or environmental factors on implementation and scale-up and the process of adaptation of innovations to fit diverse contexts as they scale, for example from high to low-and-middle-income countries

    Alinka Gearon

    Alinka’s research in child trafficking, exploitation and modern slavery is a crosscutting social issue, relevant to policy areas of child protection, criminal justice, social policy, child migration, immigration and human rights. It engages with how children experience contemporary childhood and adolescence; explores their experiences of social issues they face and critically engages with policy responses. Alinka’s research interests lie in qualitative and child-focused research exploring children's worlds, child protection and children's rights.

    Ana C Dinerstein

    Dr Ana Dinnerstein is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Reader at the Department of Social & Policy Sciences. She is a critical theorist, political sociologist and scholar activist. Her research interests are in social movements, critical sociology and theory, Bloch’s philosophy, open Marxism, feminism, decolonial horizons and contemporary forms of utopia. Dr Dinnerstein has created a new transdisciplinary research field: ‘the Global Politics of Hope’, the focus of which is the contradictory processes of transformation led by social, labour, indigenous, urban and rural movements mainly in the Global South but not exclusively.

    Andrea Purdekova

    Andrea Purdekova’s research explores the political dynamics of states emerging from mass violence, specifically the politics of reconciliation and nation building, the politics of memory, and the politics of displacement, settlement and camps. Andrea’s regional focus is the Great Lakes Region of Africa and she has conducted most of her research in Rwanda and Burundi. Andrea is the author of Making Ubumwe: Power, State and Camps in Rwanda’s Unity-Building Project (Berghahn, 2015), which was shortlisted for the 2016 Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize awarded annually by the African Studies Association.

    Arif Naveed

    Arif Naveed’s research focuses on the expansion of mass-schooling in the Global South and its implications for social stratification and economic inequality. Arif is developing a theoretical and methodological framework with which to analyse the role of schooling in intergenerational, gendered social mobility in low and middle-income countries. His work takes into account the politics of knowledge creation and operationalises post-colonial, sociological and political perspectives, and his research and teaching involve reconciling interdisciplinary tensions between economics, sociology and international development and between academic inquiry, policy formulations, and implementation on the ground.

    Asha Amirali

    Asha Amirali is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS). Her current research focuses on the role of progressive intellectuals and activists in national and sub-national climate politics in the Global South. Asha is interested in how ‘good’ change happens in fields of state policy and political practice, specifically the processes by which strategies of change are formulated, the role of ideas and emotion in politics, and the relative efficacy of different strategies of reform and transformation.

    Ben Radley

    Ben Radley is a political economist and Lecturer in International Development at the Department of Social and Policy Sciences. Ben’s research centres on processes of economic transformation in Central Africa, with a focus on labour dynamics and the role played by Northern corporations. Currently, Ben is working on a comparative case study of the solar sector in Burundi and Rwanda to investigate to what extent and how state capacity influences the quantity, quality, and inequalities of clean energy labour generated in Africa.

    Bryan Clift

    Bryan’s research examines the social and cultural dimensions of sport and physical movement practices with an interdisciplinary approach. Bryan has two strands around which his teaching and research are focused: sport and physical activity as part and parcel of the cultural economy (e.g., sport events, communities, media and communications, and inequalities), and qualitative research. Collectively, these are oriented around sport and physical activity industries as immersed within established interdisciplinary fields of sport management, sport sociology, history of sport, sport media and communications, sport development, sport economics, leisure studies, and health and wellness.

    Cameron Thibos

    Cameron Thibos is a Research Fellow with WorkFREE, an ERC-funded project piloting a basic income among waste pickers in Hyderabad, India. He is also consultant to a project running through the Middle East and North Africa Social Policy Network that looks at social protection, social cohesion and labour exploitation in garment industry in Turkey and Jordan, particularly with regard to Syrian refugees. His primary interests lie at the intersection of labour exploitation and (forced) migration in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Darragh McGee

    Darragh McGee’s research examines the shifting global relationship between gambling and sport, notably how rapid industry expansion and technological innovation has engendered growing concerns about the welfare and wellbeing of young people. Darragh is particularly interested in the role of digital technologies in shaping the uptake and normalisation of risky modes of consumption, as well as in the surveillance mechanisms that accompany capitalist leisure industries. Darragh’s research has been funded by grants from the British Academy, Leverhulme Trust and the Global Challenges Research Fund, and has been featured in a range of international media, including The Guardian, WIRED, The Globe and Mail, and CBC.

    Eleonora Fichera

    Eleonora is Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Bath. Eleonora's research interests are in the economics of health and applied micro-econometrics. As such, she leads the research theme on "Social Determinants of Health". Her research investigates the socio-economic determinants of health in high and low and middle income countries. Her focus is on how individuals and organisations interact with each other and on the social determinants of health. She is also working on issues related to gender in academic career progression.

    Frances Amery

    Frances Amery's research addresses the intersection of social movement activity and policy and legislative processes with a key focus on reproductive justice and abortion in the United Kingdom. Frances' recent book, Beyond Pro-Life and Pro-Choice (Bristol University Press, 2020) traces the history of abortion politics from the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act to contemporary debates around decriminalisation, disability rights and sex-selective abortion.

    Geof Wood

    Geof Wood is Professor Emeritus of International Development at the University of Bath. His work focuses on the following areas: sociology of public institutional behaviour; institutional choices for livelihoods; deep structures analysis of governance; comparative welfare regimes; state-society relations in terms of access, labeling and political clientelism; collective action and participatory management (natural resources, irrigation, energy etc.); poverty and time preferences; coping strategies for insecurity; civil society mobilisation and advocacy. Geoff has extensive consultancy experience in South Asia with major donors, governments, think tanks and key NGOs in both evaluation and direct project management.

    Harry Rutter

    Harry Rutter is a Professor in Global Public Health at the Department of Social and Policy Sciences. Harry’s research interests include complex systems, communicable and non-communicable disease prevention, climate change and health, obesity, physical activity, health inequalities and structural drivers of health and illness. Harry’s research also encompasses issues of urbanisation, environment, and sustainability.

    James Copestake

    James Copestake is currently a Director of Studies for the professional Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice (DPRP) and a founding director of Bath Social and Development Research Ltd - a social enterprise set up in 2016 to promote better qualitative and multi-method impact evaluation. His areas of research include agrarian change and rural development, development finance, microfinance and impact evaluation, definition and measurement of poverty and wellbeing, and the political economy of international development.

    Jason Hart

    Jason Hart is a social anthropologist by training (BA, MA, Ph.D University of London). Much of Jason’s work has explored the experience of and institutional response to young people on the margins of society and the global economy. Themes such as protection, child rights, peacebuilding, home, militarisation and asylum have been central to this research. Much of his research has been undertaken in situations of political violence and displacement. Jason has worked in South Asia (Sri Lanka, Nepal, India and Bhutan) and, increasingly, in the UK. However, his principal area of interest is the Middle East, particularly Israel / occupied Palestinian territories and Jordan.

    Jennifer Golan

    Dr Jennifer Golan is a lecturer in Development Economics at the University of Bath. She has worked for various international organizations on research-related tasks, including for the World Bank, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation and the Overseas Development Institute. Dr Golan's research focuses on applied development microeconomics and in particular on topics in intra-household resource allocation and the economics of gender.

    Joe Devine

    Joe Devine is a Professor of Global Development with an overall interest in the dynamics of social change and the politics of development processes in South Asia. His other research interests are in extreme poverty, vulnerability, and inequality; patronage, clientelism and poor people’s politics; civil society and NGOs; and international development policy and management among others.

    Joel Lazarus

    Joel Lazarus a postdoctoral researcher on the WorkFREE project, a UK-India development/research collaboration working with communities living in slums in Hyderabad, India to explore the emancipatory potential of combining unconditional cash transfers with needs-focused participatory action research. Joel's own interests are in relationality and needs. Joel is exploring relational approaches to development work that focus not on problem-solving, but on cultivating safety, trust, and connection between participants. He is working on a new theory of needs.

    Jennifer Thomson

    Jennifer joined the University of Bath in September 2017. From 2022-2026 she is PI on the ESRC New Investigator project Gender in Foreign Policymaking: the academic and policy implications of feminist foreign policy. From 2018-2019, she was Co-I on the GCRF funded project Menstrual Taboos and Menstrual Hygiene Policy in Nepal. She is a member of the GW4 Menstruation and Mental Health Research Community, funded by a GW4 Generator Award. She currently convenes the MA in Gender and Politics. Her core research and teaching interests are in gender and politics, broadly defined.

    Katharina Lenner

    Katharina is a lecturer in Social and Policy Sciences, and the pathway lead for the interdisciplinary pathway 'Security, Conflict and Human Rights'. Katharina’s work focuses on the politics of development and social policy, the governance of migration and refugees between the Middle East and Europe. Katharina’s research and teaching builds on a broad, cross-disciplinary notion of political and socio-economic change in the global South, particularly in the Arab world, which is grounded in critical, ethnographic approaches to policy and governance as well as in-depth qualitative research in the region. Most of Katharina’s empirical research to date has focused on Jordan.

    Lizzi Milligan

    Lizzi Milligan's research focuses on issues of social and epistemic justice and educational quality in low income countries. Lizzi particularly explores the disjuncture between policies, such as those related to language of learning and teaching, and practice and the impact this has on inequalities in learning experiences and outcomes. Lizzie advocates the use of mixed-methods approaches to enable greater understanding of the impact of policies for teachers, learners and parents in school and community settings. Lizzi also has a strong interest in cross-cultural research, particularly regarding researcher positioning and ethics.

    Louise Brown

    Louise Brown is a Professor of International Social Work & Innovation at the Department of Social & Policy Sciences. Professor Brown’s research has global reach and focuses on social innovation, internationals models of child protection and the cultural adaptation and implementation of interventions as they transfer between countries. Recent streams of work include scaling up digital healthcare interventions in Africa and promoting innovative community-based social distancing strategies in townships in South Africa.

    Maria Jose Ventura Alfaro

    Maria is a lecturer in International Development and Social Sciences, she is interested in the fields of women's studies, feminist theory, and social movements. During her PhD, Maria conducted a research project aimed at highlighting the community impacts of grassroots movements in the periphery and centre of Mexico City in their struggle against state and social violence. Maria also holds a Research Masters in International Development from the University of Bath and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology from Bath Spa University.

    Mathilde Maitrot

    Mathilde is a Lecturer in International Development. Her work takes an interdisciplinary and ethnographic approach to examining the politics of development. In particular, she focuses on how politics and governance shape experiences of inequality, marginalisation and extreme poverty in Bangladesh. She is also interested in the integration of social science perspectives and disciplines to make development interventions and policies more inclusive. Over the past 15 years, she has provided research and analytical support to a range of international collaborators including development partners and national governments around the themes of social protection, financial inclusion and microfinance, extreme poverty reduction and resilience, and political authority.

    Melanie Channon

    Melanie Channon is a demographer and social statistician working on issues affecting low and middle-income countries. Melanie’s research interests include menstruation, son preference, fertility transition, sexual and reproductive health, violence against women, and gender statistics. Melanie has expertise in the demography of both Asia and Africa, with a particular focus on Nepal and South Asia.

    Mihika Chatterjee

    Mihika is a lecturer in International Development. Her current research is on the politics of land dispossession and rural transitions in Western India. More broadly, she is interested in the political economy of late-industrialisation, labour struggles, and rural inequalities.

    Naomi Pendle

    Naomi Pendle's research focuses on governance during armed conflict and crisis. This has included research on armed groups, patterns of violence, protection of civilians and peace. She is also currently completing a socio-legal study of famine. She has carried out and published ethnographic and qualitative research on South Sudan since 2010.

    Neil Howard

    Neil Howard's research focuses on the governance of exploitative and so-called 'unfree' labour and in particular the various forms of it targeted for eradication by the Sustainable Development Goals. Neil conducts ethnographic and participatory action research with people defined as victims of trafficking, slavery, child labour and forced labour, and political anthropological research on the institutions that seek to protect them. Neil frequently collaborates with the international child protection agency, Terre des Hommes, on participatory action research projects with child migrants, child workers, and street-connected children to develop ground-up responses to their circumstances.

    Noaman Ali

    Noaman's research concerns the politics of underdevelopment and dependency, with a particular focus on Pakistan and South Asia. His research examines how domestic political interests and a global division of labour shape agrarian/rural political economies and ecologies; and, in turn, how we can understand the social bases of politics—especially the constraints and opportunities facing working classes and marginalized groups in asserting their political and economic agency. By focusing on agrarian political economy, Noaman also engages with questions of political ecology, social movements, political order, and radical theories of liberation (Marxism and decolonization).

    Oliver Walton

    Oliver Walton is a Senior Lecturer in International Development specialising in the political economy of war-to-peace transitions, NGO politics, conflict and peacebuilding. His research has focuses on the political economy of war to peace transitions, civil society, NGOs and NGO legitimacy. Recent work has examined the role of borderlands and brokers in post-war transitions in Nepal and Sri Lanka, and the role of alcohol in conflict-affected regions.

    Pankhuri Agarwal

    Pankhuri Agarwal is a Research Associate in the School of Management at the University of Bath working on a 4-year UKRI project to interrogate the meaning of dignity in supply chains in India and the UK’s garment and IT industries. With over a decade of field and research experience working with marginalised workers, unions, government ministries, international and domestic humanitarian agencies, her research focuses on the: 1) critique of the anti-trafficking discourse and intervention; 2) use of multi-sited ethnography to study the lived experience of law and; 3) the impact of labour reforms at the intersection of migration and state bureaucracy.

    Pete Manning

    Pete Manning is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences. Pete’s research explores the connections between human rights, transitional justice, and memory. Pete is increasingly concerned with the intersections of environmental issues with these fields. Currently his work explores the opportunities and challenges in the delivery of genocide education, particularly through arts methodologies; the politics of indigineity and its intersections with ecological harms in conflict; network analysis of transitional justice actors and their relationships.

    Piotr Ozieranski

    Piotr Ozieranski’s research is situated within the political sociology of medicine and pharmaceuticals. Piotr’s main area of interest is the transparency of interactions between drug companies, patient organisations, and the health service. In addition, Piotr examines social processes, especially lobbying, associated with the scientific assessment as well as pricing and reimbursement of medical technologies. Piotr utilises multiple research methods ranging from ethnography and in-depth elite interviews to surveys, regression analysis, and social network analysis. Piotr also has experience in using investigative methods, such as freedom of information requests.

    Rana Jawad

    Dr Rana Jawad has been a senior lecturer in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences since 2009. Her main research interests are the social policies and welfare systems of the Middle East and North Africa region, with particular emphasis on the Arab and Muslim populations there. Dr Jawad’s interests also include welfare theory and ethics; religion and social welfare action and social movement. Current projects include looking at conflict and peace building in the MENA region.

    Richard Itaman

    Richard Itaman is a lecturer in the department of social and policy sciences. He holds a PhD in economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London. He has teaching experience, in the areas of political economy of financial development; emerging market economies of East Europe, Russia, China and other transition economies; and macroeconomics. He brings to the classroom his experience in finance from Barclay’s Bank and Microfinance banking in Nigeria.

    Roy Maconachie

    Roy’s research in Sub-Saharan Africa explores the social, political and economic aspects of food production and natural resource management, and their relationships to wider societal change. Much of Roy’s recent work has been concerned with the politics of natural resource management in West Africa, with a particular focus on the extractive industries, livelihood change and social conflict. Roy’s disciplinary background is in human geography, but his work has largely been interdisciplinary in its approach, drawing principally upon anthropology and politics/political economy.

    Scott Thomas

    Dr Scott Thomas lectures in International Relations and the Politics of Developing Countries. Dr Thomas has a research programme which centres on how the global resurgence of culture and religion have transformed international relations. It challenges the existing constructions of culture, religion, and identity, and examines the impact of culture and religion on key areas in international relations - conflict, cooperation, diplomacy, peace-making, inter-religious dialogue, and economic development. He writes for a variety of journals and speaks widely on the role of religion in international relations today to both academic organizations and to a variety of NGOs, governments, religious groups, and other organizations.

    Touseef Mir

    Touseef is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences. His work takes a multidisciplinary approach sitting at the intersection of conflict studies, comparative politics and everyday state and society. Using ethnographic (qualitative) methodology, his work upends the gaze to the popular experience side of the state-society debate within conflict studies. Looking at the protracted conflict situation of Kashmir, his research explores how (repressive) political structures condition and inform individual behaviour(s); and, how (as an experience of the political structures) different individuals develop institutionalised responses to socially navigate them.

    Waradas Thiyagaraja

    Waradas works on gender and sexualities in conflict affected countries. He is currently a lecturer in International Development, and has taught at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka and the Paarami University of Myanmar. He is a leading sexual and gender justice activist in Sri Lanka. His research focuses on conflict, peacebuilding, and queer politics in conflict-affected countries. He also co-founded the Community Welfare and Development Fund, a rapid deployment fund for LGBT persons in Sri Lanka. He has extensively worked with LGBT community in Sri Lanka. He was a Commonwealth Scholar (2017-2021) and a Rotary Peace Fellow (2012-2014). He has been awarded the Akin Olaware Peace Award by the Mediators Beyond Borders Institute (MBBI) in 2019 for his peacebuilding work in Sri Lanka.

    Yixian Sun

    Yixian Sun studies transnational governance, environmental politics, and sustainable consumption, with a geographical focus on emerging economies. Yixian’s research explains the changing role of China in global environmental governance, including sustainability transitions within China as well as sustainability impacts of China's overseas engagement. Yixian’s current projects focus on sustainability governance of China's Belt and Road Initiative. Besides research, Yixian is also a member of the Expert Peer Review Group of the Race to Zero,. Yixian is also an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow of the Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore, a Research Fellow of the Earth System Governance (ESG) Project, and co-convenor of the ESG Taskforce on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Affiliated members