Home > People > Barbara Harriss-White

Barbara Harriss-White

An Emeritus Fellow, Emeritus Professor of Development Studies and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Barbara Harriss-White’s research persists into retirement. A political economist and field-economist, Harriss-White studies the social ordering and state regulation of the market economy (through five decades of field research on basic commodities in various regions of South Asia and through four decades of field-research on the development of a small market town and its rural hinterland). She also studies the casualties  of development (hence field research into gender discrimination, poverty, destitution, malnutrition/alcoholism, disability, social discrimination, ageing, incomplete citizenship, and the social contamination of waste). Since 2011, Harriss-White is finding out about the economy as a waste-producing system and the criminal extraction of natural resources. She supervised 40 doctoral students.

Harriss-White was a director of Oxford’s Department of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, first director of the M. Phil. in Development Studies (1996+), founder-director of the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme in the School of Area Studies and its MSc in Contemporary India (2008), founder-coordinator of Wolfson’s South Asia Research Cluster and member of Wolfson’s Earth Emergency Research Cluster. She organised two sets of Wolfson College Lectures – on Food (with WC President Hoffenberg) – and on Globalisation and Insecurity – both published afterwards as books.