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Behrooz Morvaridi

Professor of International Development

Faculty/Dept/School School of Social Sciences
(Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences)
Telephone +441274 233961


I have pursued research on political economy of development linking theoretical advances with practical policy application. My research is focused on developing a critical understanding of the politics of transformations in modes of development, conceived as intentional practice in countries of the Global South, from a perspective of social justice. I have examined this in the context of  poverty and inequality, forced migration: displacement and resettlement,  the politics of social protection, the social impact assessment of large infrastructure projects, rural development in the Middle East and Africa. My central concern to understand how the politics of development affects social justice outcomes has informed explorations of the way that a variety of development actors, have attempted to re conceptualise the normative framing of development assistance. My work has concluded that normative reframing by these groups of actors has the effect of legitimising greater inequality in a context of a global environment of entrenching neoliberal hegemony.·    

Outputs from this work include my well-received edited book on The New Philanthropy and Social Justice (2015; paperback 2016), for which I wrote the theoretical framing essay and conclusion; an article on philanthropy and social justice published in Review of African Political Economy in 2016; and an article on “The Political Economy of Partnerships: Coca Cola, The Gates Foundation, and TechnoService,” relating to public-private partnerships in Kenya that has been presented at  XIV World Congress of International Rural Studies Association, Conference Toronto, University of York;  Development Studies Association Conference, University of Oxford and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris. My recent work with Caroline Hughes on “South – South Cooperation and Neo liberal Hegemony in a Post – Aid World” published in the leading Development Studies journal Development and Change (2018).  In this article, we argue that contemporary ideas about South - South Cooperation do not retrieve the radical potential of the original formulation, but rather expand the hegemonic neoliberal world order into a new phase through a reframed idea of the relationships between North and South and between states and markets

My current research agenda is focused on two areas:

The first area examines the policy implications of forced migration, investigating the relevance of a social protection in general, and cash transfers in particular, as a framework for protecting migrants and supporting livelihood recovery and sustainability. This is particularly focused on Syrian refugees in Turkey. The ideas from this research were presented in a Panel that I organised in September 2018 at the DSA conference  on Forced Migration and Protection in Uncertain World

The second area examines the Political Economy of Knowledge Production: Knowledge Economy as a Tool for Authoritarian Governance. This was first presented at Kroc Intitule  for  International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame (May 2019). This lecture builds on the political economy concept of  “knowledge” as a site of contestation intimately connected to the operation of power. Authoritarian governments are selectively co-opting radical and neoliberal modes of thinking about knowledge production to legitimize political and social orders, discipline potential regime critics, and fire middle income imaginations. The lecture is based on a paper co-written with Caroline Hughes, the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Chair  in Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute, and explore the effectiveness of knowledge economy aspirations in disarming critics, channelling societal aspirations into particular types of socio-economic activity, and defusing demands for political change in I, Turkey, and Hong Kong.

I have conducted fieldwork research in Turkey, Cyprus, Iran, Oman, Tunisia, India, Zimbabwe with funding from a number of different agencies

Appointed to a Co Chair the ESRC UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) (2019-20) 

In March 2019  I was visiting Professor at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Notre Dame University, USA for three months. 


Teaching interests


 DEV7003-B Issues in Development Theory 
EV7038-BI issues in Development Practice 
DEV7039-B Assessing Development Practices Needs and Outcomes 
PES7023-Z Professional Experience (Rotary Peace Fellows Applied Field Experience)  

I have supervised many PhD students and ensure that my students reach their highest academic potential.

Current PhD Students: ·     
 Edmund Brekin: Development Strategies in Tackling Organised Crime: A Case Study of the Prospera Conditional Cash Transfer programme in Mexico   ·     
Farouk Tarfa: Boundaries, Territories and Sovereignty    
Boakye Boampong

PhD students completed: ·     
Yagmur Savern Passed PhD (2019)
Victorial Dimitri Araj Passed PhD (2018) 
Sumaila Issaka Asuru (2017): New Philanthropy and Social Protection in Sub–Saharan Africa: A case study of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in the northern region of Ghana. ·     
Chika Charles Aniekwe (2017):  Economic liberalisation and  Smallholder Farmers’ Access to Markets in a Rice Producing Region in Nigeria. ·     
Sydney Nkhoma (2016) Cash Transfers: Ladders or Hand-Outs? An Analysis of Community Targeted Social Cash Transfers, Machinga District, Malawi ·     
Ibrahim Adeolu Bakare (2012): Governance, Poverty and Resource Management: A Case Study of the Niger- Delta.
Kurt Hall (2011) The Poverty Construct and Its Resonance With the Experiencing  of Deprivation Anula Tennakoon  (2011) Changing Dynamics of NGO Accountability: A hegemonic Analysis of a Sri Lankan Case.
Cobbinah, E.J. (2011) Paradox and barriers in Participation and Rural Development: A Case of Nzema East District Ghana.
Patrick Osei-Kufuor (2010) Does Institutionalising Decentralisation works?  Rethinking Agency, Institutions, and Authority in Local Governance.
Satoshi Kuwazawa (2009) Poverty of Indigenous People in Taiwan – Rethinking Agency Embedded Disposition, Role of the Family and Institutions in the Study of Poverty.
Margaret Sikwese (2008): Power Relations and Agents: Questioning Empowerment of Local Communities in Decentralised and Community – Based Forestry
Anna Mdee (2008) Structure, Agency, and the Populist Development Paradigm: An ethnography of development and change in Uchira, Tanzania.
Kelum Jayasinghe  (2006): Entrepreneurship in a Rural community of Sri Lanka: A Study of Power relations and Calculative Practice.


Peer Reviewed Journal
TitleSouth-South Cooperation and Neo-liberal hegemony in a Post-aid world (2018)
AuthorsMorvaridi, Behrooz; Hughes, Caroline
TitleDoes sub-Saharan Africa need capitalist philanthropy to reduce poverty and achieve food security? (2016)
AuthorsMorvaridi, Behrooz
TitleThe politics of philanthropy and welfare governance: the case of Turkey (2013)
AuthorsMorvaridi, Behrooz
TitleCapitalist philanthropy and hegemonic partnerships (2012)
AuthorsMorvaridi, Behrooz
TitleCapitalist Philanthropy and the New Green Revolution for Food Security (2012)
AuthorsMorvaridi, Behrooz
TitleThe Right to Self–determination and Individual rights in the Era of Decolonization in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of UNESCO. (2011)
AuthorsMorvaridi, Behrooz
TitleResettlement, right to development and the Ilisu dam, Turkey (2004)
AuthorsMorvaridi B.
JournalDevelopment and Change