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Mathilde Maîtrot

Lecturer in International Development and Global Social Policy; Director of Programmes for MPA in International Development, School for Business and Society

Research Information

Mathilde Maîtrot is a Lecturer in International Development and Global Social Policy in the School for Business and Society at the University of York (UK). Dr Maîtrot completed her PhD on the politics of microfinance at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester in 2014, where she currently holds an Honorary Fellowship. She has worked closely with ODI, UNDP, UNU-WIDER and the IDRC as well as with civil society and policy-making partners in the UK and Bangladesh on issues of microfinance, civil society, social protection and extreme poverty. In 2017 she was granted a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the ESRC GRCF for her research on how Civil Society actors navigate Bangladesh’s political settlement.

Her research interests lie in the politics of development, examining the changing nature of relation between state, civil society institutions and citizens. She uses ethnography to explore the terms on which people signify, experience and take part in formal and informal systems of governance and examines their implications for the formation of inequalities and poverty.

Ongoing research project:

Together with Dr David Jackman, from GDI Manchester, Mathilde recently conducted a first round of research in Bangladesh for the project titled: Consolidating power and shifting coalitions: how state, party and the opposition are changing in Bangladesh
funded by the Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre (ESID) at the University of Manchester. The project examines Bangladesh's current political transition, whereby the rule party is consolidating power and containing political opposition. Both David and Mathilde seek to understand the current political order by analysing the complex shifts in power within the state that have enabled this transition, the strategies deployed by the ruling party and the opposition's contestation and means of resistance in this context.


(2018) (with Kabir, A.) 'Exploring the effects of health shocks on anti-poverty interventions: experience of poor beneficiary households in Bangladesh', Cogent Medicine, (e-print ahead of publication).

(2018) (with Brockington, D. Banks, N. Hulme, D.) 'Interrogating Microfinance Performance beyond Products, Clients and the Environment. Insights from the work of BRAC in Tanzania', The European Journal of Development Research, (e-print ahead of publication).

(July 2018), 'At harm’s length: when development bureaucracies mean business' Social Policy Association Blog No.35.

(forthcoming) ‘Is sustainable microcredit in Bangladesh putting clients’ livelihoods in the balance? in The Rise and Fall of Global Microcredit: Development, Debt and Disillusion by Bateman, M. Blankenburg, S. and Kozul-Wright, R. Routledge.

(2018) ‘Understanding social performance: a ‘practice drift’ at the frontline of Microfinance Institutions in Bangladesh’, Development and Change; DOI: 10.1111/dech.12398

(2018) (eds. with Wood, G. Ali, Z., and Devine, J.) Aiding Resilience among the Extreme Poor in Bangladesh, Dhaka: University Press Limited.

(2017) (with Niño-Zarazúa, M.) 'Poverty and wellbeing impacts of microfinance: What do we know?'. WIDER Working Paper 2017/190. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER.

(2017) (with Kabir, A.) 'Factors influencing feeding practices of extreme poor infants and young children in families of working mothers in Dhaka slums: A qualitative study'. PLoS ONE 12(2): e0172119.

(2017) 'Guardianship and processes of change: the feminization of extreme poverty in Bangladesh’ Chapter 4 in Devine, J. et al. (eds) Extreme Poverty, Growth and Inequality in Bangladesh, Rugby: Practical Action Publishing Ltd. DOI: 10.3362/9781780449463.004

(2016) ‘Knowledge creation in Bangladesh: institutional challenges and personal opportunities within civil society’, Development in Practice, 26(6): 683-695.

(2014) (with Hulme D.) ‘Has Microfinance Lost Its Moral Compass?’ Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) 49(48): 77-85.

(2014) (with Hulme, D. Ragno, L.P. and Rahman, H.Z.) Scaling-up Social Protection in Bangladesh, University Press Limited with PPRC and UNDP.


Chaired and presented a paper titled: 'Revolution Aborted: The Moral Economy of microfinance entrepreneurship in rural Bangladesh, at a session titled: Ethnographies of development policies: understanding policy translation within the Global South, at the Development Studies Association's Annual Conference, held at the Global Development Institute, the University of Manchester, June 27th-28th.

The session aimed at discussing policy translation into reality. The specific aim is to learn from the ethnographies of development policies that can help explain the complexity of policy as institutional practice; the social life of projects; and practices that policy legitimises as social processes).

Contact us

Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre
01904 323716
Department of Politics, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK

Contact us

Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre
01904 323716
Department of Politics, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK