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Professor Jean Grugel



Jean was appointed Professor of Development Politics in 2016. Previously, she was Professor of Global Politics at the Open University, Professor of International Development and Head of Department in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield, Director of the Sheffield Institute for International Development and Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield. She completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Liverpool, holds a PhD in Latin American politics and completed her post-doctoral studies at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, with the support of the Leverhulme Trust. She has held visiting appointments at a number of European and Latin American universities and is an Associate Fellow of the Institute of the Americas at UCL.

Jean’s research interests are broad. They include the politics of sustainable development, the political economy of development, children’s rights and children’s work and citizenship, human rights and democratization. Her research draws on fieldwork chiefly from across Latin America, but she has also published on European politics, sub-Saharan Africa and the Philippines and is keenly interested in cross-regional comparison.

Jean is Director of the Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre (IGDC), a Politics-led University Research Centre, with over 100 University of York members.




Jean is currently working on a number of funded research projects, including  Thanzi la Onse – Health for All, Redressing the Gendered Health Inequalities of Displaced Women and Girls in Contexts of Protracted Crisis in Central and South America (ReGHID),   Gender and Health Systems in Low and Middle Income Countries After COVID-19, and The Future of the Natural Resource Economy in South America: Extraction Sustainability and Citizenship.  She is also the York lead on the York-Maastricht Partnership on Development Transformations. Her work has also been funded by ESRC, EU, World Universities Network, British Council, Leverhulme Trust and Nuffield Foundation.

Recent publications include articles in Health Research Policy and Systems, European Journal of Politics and Gender, Development and Change, World Development, Human Rights Quarterly, Development Policy Review, Citizenship Studies International Affairs. Recent books include The Handbook of International Development (2016 edited with Dan Hammett, Palgrave-Macmillan), Demanding Human Rights in the Global South (2016, edited with J Nem Singh, L Fontana and A Uhlin, Palgrave-Macmillan). Jean is also editor of the book series International Development, Justice and Citizenship, Palgrave-Macmillan, London. For a full list of publications, see the York Research Database.



Jean has supervised 15 PhDs to completion and examined more than 30, nationally and internationally. She is keen to attract good PhD students, especially those interested in interdisciplinary approaches relevant to critical issues in international development, human rights and global political economy.



Other teaching

Jean has led the creation of York’s innovative, problem-based B.A. in Global Development. This new programme taught in conjunction with the Departments of History, and Environment and Geography, explores theories and practices of global justice, inequalities and sustainability with tools from across the social sciences, humanities and natural sciences. Its purpose is to equip students for contributing to a fairer world.

In all teaching, Jean aims to encourage students to think independently and critically and to be open to different theoretical perspectives. She is keen that students question the universality and relevance of their own experiences. Given that much of her teaching is in the area of international development, she wants to encourage students to learn how to understand social and political environments that may be quite different from their own and to question received wisdom about the global order. She also encourages students to appreciate the value of practical engagement empirical and grounded scholarship.


External activities


Jean is a member of the REF 2021 Sub-Panel 19, Politics and International Studies and the ESRC International Development Advisory Group. She was previously Vice-Chair and member of the ESRC Grants Advisory Panel (C) and the NORFACE Expert Group on Transformations to Sustainability. Jean is a member of the Agencia per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya (Quality, Appointments and Promotions Organisation for Universities in Catalunya), the International Advisory Council of the Institut Barcelona Estudis Internacionals (at University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona), has served as a trustee for a number of NGOs, especially in the field of childhood, and has also advised the EU and UNICEF on the implementation of children’s rights.


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Contact details

Professor Jean Grugel
Department of Politics and International Relations
University of York
YO10 5DD
+44 (0)1904 322061

Feedback and guidance hours (summer term): Tuesdays and Thursdays,  9.30am to 10.30am