Oxford Minds

Event series for postgraduate students led by the Social Sciences Division

Providing social science graduate students with an inspiring, interactive, and inter-disciplinary educational experience

Inter-disciplinary panel discussions for ALL graduate students

Launched during the 2020-21 academic year, Oxford Minds is an online curriculum enrichment programme run by the Social Sciences Division for our graduate students. It aims to cover the issues that matter for Oxford, for the social sciences, and for the wider world -- that we ‘mind’. It includes themes, theory, and methods. Links to resources from past discussions and debates are available on this page. 



Previous Speakers


Prof Heather Hamill

Associate Professor in Sociology, Dean of St Cross College

Heather Hamill

Heather's research primarily centres on the various ways in which problems related to establishing trust and reputation are solved. These issues are particularly pertinent in the low trust environments of high crime neighbourhoods and illegal political and criminal organisations. She has researched these issues in a number of different settings including: informal justice and policing in Northern Ireland; how taxi drivers establish the trustworthiness of their customers and how illegal political and criminal organisations recruit their members. Her current research focuses on the problems of trust created by the proliferation of sub-standard and falsified (SF) medicines sub-Saharan Africa.

Heather was formerly a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow and has been awarded research grants from the Russell Sage Foundation, the Economic Social and Research Council (ESRC), the Nuffield Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. Her books include Streetwise: How taxi drivers establish their customer's trustworthiness (Russell Sage Foundation 2005, with Diego Gambetta) and The Hoods: Crime and Punishment in Belfast (Princeton University Press, 2011).

Research Areas: Extra-Legal Governance and Crime.

Prof Leigh Payne

Professor of Sociology and Latin America

Leigh A. Payne is Professor of Sociology and Latin America at St Antony's College, University of Oxford. She works primarily in the area of human rights and transitional justice, or the mechanisms used by countries that have emerged from authoritarian rule and armed to conflict to address the violent past. She has built a number of original databases, most recently Corporate Accountability and Transitional Justice (CATJ) and has published findings in a Cambridge University Press book (2020), the Annual Review of Law and Social Sciences, and several book chapters. She will discuss in this session on mixed methods the creation of her first Transitional Justice Database (TJDB) and the book that emerged from that project: Transitional Justice in Balance. She is currently developing two new projects. One on confessions by members of armed revolutionary movements and the second on contemporary mobilizations on the right-wing. She has already begun to publish articles from those projects. For her academic research and policy impact work, Payne has received grants and funding from foundations (Open Society, Ford, Oak, Newton, and Zennström) and research councils (ESRC, AHRC, British Academy, NSF). Professor Payne received her PhD from Yale University.

Dr Olivier Sterck

Lead economist of the Refugee Economies Programme (REP) at the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC)

Olivier Sterck is the lead economist of the Refugee Economies Programme (REP) at the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC). Before joining the RSC, Olivier was postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) at the University of Oxford. His research is multidisciplinary in scope, building bridges between development economics, health economics, and refugee studies. Olivier's research uses applied econometrics and economic modelling to study refugee economies. With colleagues from the REP, he has been collecting and analysing data on more than 15,000 refugees and members of host populations in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia. In partnership with the World Food Programme, Olivier has been analysing the impact of various cash transfer models on the socio-economic outcomes of refugee households and refugee businesses in the Kakuma refugee camp and the Kalobeyei settlement.  

For a complete list of publications, see his personal website



Dr Martha Newson


Martha Newson

Dr Martha Newson’s research centres on group bonding, ritual, and community. The populations and methodologies she works with are diverse: from taking saliva samples from football fans at live World Cup matches in Brazil to investigate stress; to interviewing rave participants in warehouses across London; to running surveys with fundamentalist Muslims and hardcore football fans in Indonesia and Australia. 

While some self-sacrificial acts are beneficial to society, e.g. charitable donations or giving blood, others have distinctly hostile implications, e.g. sectarian or gang violence. Martha is developing intervention strategies that use football and other group rituals, such as rave culture, as platforms to (a) increase social cohesion, (b) reduce crime, and (c) reduce r prison and probation reoffending rates.

Academically, she is based at the Universities of Kent and Oxford. She currently leads research on how major football clubs can help tackle reoffending in partnership with the Twinning Project, Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service, and the Ministry of Justice.

Martha has contributed to Discovery’s Why We Hate, produced by Steven Spielberg, as well as numerous BBC and Sky TV features in the UK.

Twitter: @martha_newson

Prof Andrea Ruggeri

Professor of Political Science and International Relations and Director of the Centre for International Studies

Andrea Ruggeri

Andrea Ruggeri is Professor of Political Science and International Relations and Director of the Centre for International Studies at the University of Oxford. He joined Brasenose College and the Department of Politics and International Relations in 2014. Previously, he was Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Amsterdam from 2010. He holds a PhD in Government (Essex, 2011), an MA International Relations (Essex, 2006) and a BA in Diplomatic and International Sciences (Genova, 2005). He has been visiting professor at the University of Genova, Bocconi University, University of Milano Statale.
His work focuses on civil wars, political violence and peace operations. His research has been published in the British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, International Security, International Organization, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Political Geography, Political Science Research & Methods, World Politics and edited volumes.

He has a co-authored monograph with Vincenzo Bove and Chiara Ruffa entitled “Composing Peace. Mission Composition in UN Peacekeeping” (2020, OUP). He is working with Stefano Costalli on a book manuscript entitled “Logics of Armed Mobilization”. He is in the editorial board of Journal of Peace Research, International Peacekeeping, Quaderni di Scienza Politica

Twitter: @aruggeri_eu

Prof Federico Varese

Professor of Criminology

Federico Varese

Federico Varese a Professor of Criminology at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. In October 2021 he became the Head of the Department of Sociology at Oxford University. His research interest include organised crime, corruption, Soviet criminal history, social network analysis and analytical social theory. He is the author of two award-winning monographs - The Russian Mafia (OUP, 2001) and Mafias on the Move (Princeton UP 2011) and an edited collected, Organized Crime (2010). His third book, Mafia life (2018) has been translated into eight languages and has been optioned for TV. He has published extensively in academic journals. He contributes to The Times Literary Supplement and, in Italy, the daily La Repubblica. His work has been featured in The Economist, The BBC News & World Service, ABC, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Monkeycage Blog and Freakonomics blog, among others. Varese was awarded an advanced grant from the European Research Council worth 3m euros for a project on the governance dimension of organized crime.

Twitter: @federico_varese


Prof Rosella Ciccia

Associate Professor of Social Policy

Rossella Ciccia

Rossella Ciccia is Associate Professor of Social Policy in in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention and a Fellow of Green Templeton College. Her research interests lie in field of comparative social policy with a particular focus on issues relating to social inequalities, gender, care and paid work. She is a member of the international research network Gender Equality Policy in Practice (GEPP) and of the scientific board of the International Observatory on Social Cohesion and Inclusion.

Her work has appeared notably in the Journal of European Social Policy, Social Politics, Policy & Society, Quality and Quantity, European Journal of Politics and Gender, Gender and Politics, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Social Policy & Administration, Revista Espanola de Sociologia. She has been the PI of the Marie Curie Project AGenDA investigating the role of social inequalities and welfare coalitions in the reform of Long-Term Care policies in Italy and Spain (2018-2020).

Her research was awarded the nominee honor for the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work/Family Research in 2015. In February 2020, she received the inaugural Emma Goldman award in recognition of the substantial contributions of her research to knowledge on feminist and inequality issues in Europe. 

Prior to joining the University of Oxford, she has held positions at Queen’s University Belfast, Scuola Normale Superiore, Maynooth University and Radboud University Nijmegen and several other European universities. 

Prof Nicholas Owen

Joint Head of Department, Associate Professor of Politics, Praelector in Politics, The Queen's College

nick owen photo

I am joint Head of Department (with Petra Schleiter).  We divide up the work as follows.  Petra Schleiter leads on research, finance, the REF, recognition of distinction and the award of titles.   I lead on teaching and courses, non-academic HR, communications, development, building matters, and health and safety.   I also represent the Department on the Divisional Board.   We divide up the work in academic recruitment and staff review and development, as well strategic planning, governance, risk management and equality and diversity.   

In normal times, I'm an Associate Professor in Politics (CUF) and Fellow and Praelector in Politics at The Queen's College. For the Department, I provide undergraduate lectures and classes, mostly in British political history and modern British politics and government, and supervise graduate students in the fields of modern British politics and government, political history and the politics and history of modern social movements.  At Queen’s, I am Praelector (Tutor) in Politics, which means organising the teaching of Politics for the undergraduates studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and History and Politics. I provide tutorials for students at Queen’s College (and at other colleges too) who are studying the core and optional papers on British government and politics. I also supervise undergraduates writing theses in these areas.  

My research website.

Prof Nikita Sud

Associate Professor of Development Studies 

Dr Nikita Sud is Associate Professor of Development Studies at the Oxford Department of International Development. She is Vicegerent of Wolfson College. Her teaching and research is centered on the politics  of development, the neoliberal transformation of states and governance, and the politics, sociology and ecology of South and South East Asia, especially India. She is author of the books 'The Making of Land and The Making of India', and 'Liberalisation, Hindu Nationalism and The State: A Biography of Gujarat', both published by Oxford University Press.




Jacqui Broadhead

Director, Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity, COMPAS

Dr Michelle Meadows

Associate Professor in Educational Assessment

Michelle Meadows

Michelle Meadows has recently joined the university as an Associate Professor in Educational Assessment in the Department of Education. She conducts research evaluating the validity of qualifications, including research into the maintenance of standards over time, moderation, marking, malpractice and assessment design. Prior to joining the university, she was Deputy Chief Regulator and Executive Director of Strategy, Risk and Research at Ofqual where she conducted research to inform England’s educational assessment policy. She has spent her career working at the intersection between research, policy and practice. Prior to working at Ofqual she was Director of AQA’s Centre for Education Research and Policy. 


Dr Thomas Hale

Associate Professor in Public Policy

Thomas Hale

Dr Thomas Hale’s research explores how we can manage transnational problems effectively and fairly. He seeks to explain how political institutions evolve – or not – to face the challenges raised by globalisation and interdependence, with a particular emphasis on environmental, economic and health issues. He holds a PhD in Politics from Princeton University, a master's degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics, and an AB in public policy from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. A US national, Dr Hale has studied and worked in Argentina, China and Europe. His books include Beyond Gridlock (Polity 2017), Between Interests and Law: The Politics of Transnational Commercial Disputes (Cambridge 2015), Transnational Climate Change Governance (Cambridge 2014), and Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation Is Failing when We Need It Most (Polity 2013). Dr Hale leads the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker.




Professor Alexander Betts

Associate Head of Division (Graduate and Research Training)

Alex Betts

Professor Alexander Betts' responsibilities include strategic leadership for all aspects of Social Sciences graduate and research training, with a particular focus on professional development for postgraduate research students and early-career researchers. He directs the ESRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), which includes Oxford, Open University, and Brunel. 




Professor Diego Sánchez-Ancochea 

Professor of Political Economy of Development

Diego Sánchez-Ancochea

Diego Sánchez-Ancochea is Head of Department at the Oxford Department of International Development and professor of the Political Economy of Development at the University of Oxford. His research uses a variety of qualitative methods to identify the best ways to reduce income inequality through the use of social and productive policies, with particular attention to the Latin American experience. He recently published The Costs of Inequality: Lessons and Warnings for the Rest of the World (Bloomsbury, 2020). Together with Juliana Martínez Franzoni, he is the author of The Quest for Universal Social Policy in the South. Actors, Ideas and Architectures (CUP, 2016) and Good Jobs and Social Services: How Costa Rica Achieved the Elusive Double Incorporation (Palgrave McMillan, 2013). Diego Sánchez-Ancochea is also the co-editor of four books and a special issue and has published papers in international journals like Latin American Research Review, Journal of Latin American Studies and World Development. He is Associate Editor of Oxford Development Studies and has collaborated with different international institutions like the World Bank, UNDP and the ILO. Diego Sánchez-Ancochea has a BA in Economics from the Universidad Complutense, a MA in Public Administration from the Instituto Ortega y Gasset and a PhD in Economics from the New School for Social Research. In 2018-19, he was Visiting Fellow at the Kellogg Institute of the University of Notre Dame.

Professor Timothy Power

Professor of Latin American Politics

Timothy Power

Timothy J. Power is Professor of Latin American Politics and a Fellow of St Antony’s College, and holds a joint appointment between the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) and the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA). He is currently serving as Head of School at OSGA. His research concerns democratization, political elites, and political institutions in Latin America, with special reference to Brazil.








Ben Ansell

Professor of Comparative Democratic Institutions

Ben Ansell







Jennifer Dowd

Associate Professor of Demography and Population Health

Jennifer Dowd

Jenn Dowd is a quantitative social and health scientist with interdisciplinary training in demography, economics, epidemiology and infectious disease. Her research seeks to understand how social and biological processes interact over the life course and how social factors “get under the skin” to impact health. She has studied how socioeconomic status shapes immune function and risk of infections as well as links between infections and chronic diseases of aging. On-going projects include understanding the social determinants of the human microbiome and the causes of stalling life expectancy in the US and UK. She is currently researching social and demographic factors related to COVID-19, and is also part of an all-female team of PhD health scientists interpreting and curating COVID-19 science for a general audience at Dear Pandemic.

She is a highly cited scholar who has published over 90 articles in journals in interdisciplinary journals such as the Proceedings of National Academies of Sciences, Nature Human Behaviour, the American Journal of Epidemiology, and Social Science and Medicine. She has been Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator on multiple large grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health on topics including the role of infections and immunity in health inequalities and social and population science approaches to the microbiome. She is currently an elected member of the Population Association of America (PAA) Board of Directors and on the Editorial Board of the flagship journal Demography.

Dr. Dowd received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2004 in Demography and Economics from the Office of Population Research.  She did postdoctoral training in Epidemiology as a  Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar in the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health  at the University of Michigan. She has previously held positions in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, King's College London, and the CUNY School of Public Health/CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR), City University of New York.

Dr Maximilian Kasy

Associate Professor in Economics

Max Kasy

Maximilian is currently an associate professor at the Department of Economics at the University of Oxford. Previously, he was an associate professor at the Department of Economics at Harvard University as well as at the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics and an MA in Statistics from UC Berkeley. 

His research interests include machine learning theory, the social impact of algorithmic decision making, publication bias, pre-analysis plans, and statistics as a social process, adaptive experimental design, identification and causality, and economic inequality and (optimal) taxation.

His webpage is https://maxkasy.github.io/home/



Dr Sneha Krishnan 

Associate Professor in Human Geography

Sneha Krishnan

Sneha Krishnan is Associate Professor in Human Geography at the University of Oxford. She is interested in how histories of colonialism and imperial afterlives shape experiences of childhood and youth. She is currently writing a book about women’s hostels in Southern India and has another ongoing project on gender and archival practice. Her work has been published most recently in Gender Place and CultureAntipode and Social and Cultural Geography. She has also written for non-academic readers in Public Books, the History Workshop Online and The Oxford Left Review.




Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh

CUF Lecturer in Politics

Sudhir Hazareesingh

Core subject area: Politics.   

Teaching: French politics, international relations.    

Research interests: French political and cultural history since the Revolution. Author of In the Shadow of the General: Modern France and the Myth of de Gaulle (OUP, 2013); How the French Think (Allen Lane, 2015); and Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture (Allen Lane, 2020).



Prof Rana Mitter

Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China

Rana Mitter

Rana Mitter OBE FBA is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford. His books include China’s War with Japan: The Struggle for Survival, 1937-1945 (Penguin, 2013), [US title: Forgotten Ally] which won the 2014 RUSI/Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature, and was named a Book of the Year in the Financial Times and Economist, and China’s Good War: How World War II is Shaping a New Nationalism (Harvard, 2020). His recent documentary on contemporary Chinese politics "Meanwhile in Beijing" is available on BBC Sounds.  




Dr David Mills

Associate Professor, Pedagogy and the Social Sciences

David Mills

David is Associate Professor in the Department of Education. Trained in social anthropology, David uses ethnographic methods to study higher education. He is currently researching - from afar - institutional research and publishing cultures in African universities, and the impact of the discourse around so-called ‘predatory’ publishing.




Dr Elizabeth Ewart

Associate Professor in the Anthropology of Lowland South America

Elizabeth Ewart

Dr Elizabeth Ewart is Associate Professor in the Anthropology of Lowland South America at the University of Oxford, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography. Her main research is with indigenous people in Central Brazil where she has lived and learnt with Panará people. 

She is interested in the social, material and visual aspects of Amerindian lived worlds, including various forms of social relations, body adornment, beadwork, garden design, village layout and concepts of beauty. She is also interested in the anthropology of everyday productive practices, including child rearing and gardening.

More recently, she has been developing research in southwestern Ethiopia (together with Dr Wolde Tadesse), on local agriculture and food production, specifically in relation to a local staple, enset (Ensete ventricosum or Abyssinian banana), exploring the manifold connections between cultivation, cooking, animal husbandry, land custodianship and sense of wellbeing among Gamo communities in the southern Ethiopian highlands. 

Professor Ruben Andersson

Professor of Social Anthropology

Ruben Andersson

Ruben Andersson is an anthropologist working on migration, borders and security with a focus on the West African Sahel and southern Europe. His book Illegality, Inc.: Clandestine migration and the business of bordering Europe (University of California Press 2014), an ethnographic account of European efforts to halt irregular migration, accompanies border agencies, aid organisations and migrants along the Spanish-African borders. The book shows how the ‘fight against irregular migration’ has fuelled distress and drama at the borders, which in turns has led to the expansion of a self-reinforcing industry of controls.




Professor Saskia Sassen

Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

saskia sassen

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Member, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University (www.saskiasassen.com). Recent books are with Mary Kaldor Cities at War (Columbia University Press 2020), the 5th fully updated edition of Cities in a World Economy (Sage 2018), and Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press 2014, now out in 18 languages.)

She is the recipient of diverse awards, including multiple doctor honoris causa, the Principe de Asturias 2013 Prize in the Social Sciences, she was made a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of the Sciences of Netherland, and most recently was awarded the Geneva Picciotto Price. Her new research project is “An Ethics of the City.” 

Twitter: @SaskiaSassen


Andrew Hurrell 

Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at Oxford University

Andrew Hurrell is Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at Oxford University and a Fellow of Balliol College. He was elected to the British Academy in 2011 and to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2010. His book, On Global Order. Power, Values and the Constitution of International Society (Oxford University Press) was the winner of International Studies Association Prize for Best Book in the field of International Relations in 2009. Other publications include: (with Ngaire Woods), Inequality, Globalization and World Politics (1999); and (with Louise Fawcett), Regionalism in World Politics (1995). He was named in the 2011 Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) survey as one of top twenty academics to have made the most influential contribution to IR over the previous five years, and was one of only two non-US based academics in that group. 

Dace Dzenovska 

Associate Professor in the Anthropology of Migration, at the University of Oxford

prof dace dzenovska

Dace Dzenovska is Associate Professor in the Anthropology of Migration, at the University of Oxford. She is a social cultural anthropologist interested in the changing relationships between people, places, the state and capital in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Her book (2018, Cornell University Press) examines efforts to instil liberal political virtues in the Latvian society and political institutions as part of postsocialist liberalization and democratization initiatives. The book argues that Eastern Europe should be viewed as a laboratory for the forging of post-Cold War political liberalism in Europe. She has begun a five-year long European Research Council project entitled Emptiness: Living Capitalism and Democracy after Postsocialism (2020-2025).



Eric Thun 

Peter Moores Associate Professor in Chinese Business Studies, Saïd Business School

Eric Thun

Eric Thun is Peter Moores Associate Professor in Chinese Business Studies, Saïd Business School, and Tutorial Fellow in Management, at Brasenose College. His primary interest is the political economy of China. In his current research, Thun is analysing how the structure of industries and markets in China affect the ability of Chinese firms to build capabilities. More generally, he is interested in the strategy of indigenous and multinational firms in emerging markets. His previous research has focused on the development of the Chinese automotive industry, multinational strategies in China, the globalization strategies of Chinese firms, and China's integration into global production networks. His published work Changing Lanes in China: Foreign Direct Investment, Local Governments and Auto Sector Development (Cambridge University Press 2011).


Gillian Rose 

Professor of Human Geography and Head of the School of Geography and the Environment

Gillian Rose

Gillian Rose is Professor of Human Geography and Head of the School of Geography and the Environment. Gillian is a cultural geographer; although her empirical research interests have shifted over time, she has long been concerned with the politics of knowledge production. Her first book, Feminism and Geography: The Limits to Geographical Knowledge (1993) is one of the foundational texts of feminist geography. Much of subsequent research focuses on visual culture and methodology. In 2015 she was elected a fellow of the British Academy, and in 2018 became a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. Her more recent work has explored the visual mediation of urban spaces, particularly by digital technologies.

Twitter: @ProfGillian


Michael Keith 

Professor at the Centre for Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford

Michael Keith

Michael Keith is Professor at the Centre for Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, Director of the PEAK Urban Research programme, co-ordinator of Urban Transformations (The ESRC portfolio of investments and research on cities), and co-Director of the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities. He was the Director of COMPAS until October 2019, a position that he held for over a decade but has stepped down from until 2023 to focus on the PEAK Urban programme. His research focuses on migration related processes of urban change. His most recent books include China Constructing Capitalism: Economic Life and Urban Change (2014) and Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city (Manchester University Press, 2020). He has experience outside the academy working in the community and voluntary sector and as a politician for twenty years in the East End of London.


Laura Rival 

Professor of Anthropology of Development in the Oxford Department of International Development

Laura Rival

Laura Rival is Professor of Anthropology of Development in the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID). Her research lies at the intersection of nature, society and development. Empirically, her work is grounded in ethnographic research with the Huaorani (Ecuadorian Amazon), inter-disciplinary research with the Makushi (central Guyana), and policy-oriented research with a number of Latin American indigenous and peasant communities, both in Central and South America. Theoretically, she has engaged critically with a range of deterministic assumptions associated with modernist ideologies, including theories that reify the nature/culture divide. Her current research builds on this expertise to address burning issues of development in the face of severe environmental degradation and accelerating climate change. Her published work includes Huaorani transformations in 21st century Ecuador. Treks into the future of time (University of Arizona Press).


Professor Mahmood Mamdani


Mahmood Mamdani is the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and Professor of Anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University and Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research in Kampala. He is the author of Neither Settler nor Native, Citizen and Subject, and When Victims Become Killers.




Barbara Havelkova 

Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford

Barbara Havelkova is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law and a Tutorial Fellow at St Hilda's College. Her research and teaching interests include gender legal studies and feminist jurisprudence, equality and anti-discrimination law, constitutional law, EU law and law in post-socialist transitions. She is a senior member of the Law Faculty's Feminist Jurisprudence Discussion Group. Her published work includes, Gender Equality in Law: Uncovering the Legacies of Czech State Socialism (Hart/Bloomsbury 2017) and (with Mathias Möschel) Anti-Discrimination Law in Civil Law Jurisdictions (Oxford University Press 2019). She previously worked for Clifford Chance Prague, trained at the Legal Service of the European Commission and in the Chambers of AG Poiares Maduro at the Court of Justice of the European Union.


Miles Larmer 

Professor of African History, University of Oxford

Miles Larmer

Miles Larmer is a Professor of African History and a Fellow of St Antony's College. He has published extensively on the political and social history of southern-central Africa in general and Zambia in particular, focusing on African nationalism, labour and social movements, and the relationship between mining and political change. His published work includes The Katangese Gendarmes and War in Central Africa: Fighting Their Way Home (Indiana University Press, 2016) and the forthcoming Living for the City: Social Change and Knowledge Production in the Central African Copperbelt (Cambridge University Press, 2021). He previously worked for a number of non-governmental organisations, including Save the Children.



Gina Neff

Professor of Technology & Society at the Oxford Internet Institute and the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford

Gina Neff

Gina Neff is Professor of Technology & Society at the Oxford Internet Institute and the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford. She studies the future of work in data-rich environments. Professor Neff leads a new multinational comparative research project on the effects of the adoption of AI across multiple industries. She is the author of Venture Labor (MIT Press, 2012), which won the 2013 American Sociological Association Communication and Information Technologies Best Book Award; and with Dawn Nafus Self-Tracking (MIT Press, 2016). Her writing for the general public has appeared in Wired, Slate and The Atlantic, among other outlets. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University, where she remains a faculty affiliate at the Center on Organizational Innovation, and she serves as a strategic advisor on the social impact of AI for the Women’s Forum.



Elleke Boehmer 

Professor of World Literature in English in the English Faculty, University of Oxford

elleke boehmer

Elleke Boehmer is Professor of World Literature in English in the English Faculty, University of Oxford, and Director of the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW), based at Wolfson College. She was the Director of TORCH 2015-17, and PI on the Andrew W. Mellon-funded 'Humanities and Identities' project at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, 2017-18. She is a founding figure in the field of colonial and postcolonial studies, and internationally known for her research in anglophone literatures of empire and anti-empire. She is a novelist and short story writer, most recently of The Shouting in the Dark (2015 and 2019), and To the Volcano (2019). 

Her critical and historical research like her creative work explores issues of migration, identity, friendship, and diaspora; nation, race and gender representation; and world literature and postcolonial debates, particularly relating to sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and contemporary Britain. Elleke Boehmer's monograph, Indian Arrivals 1870-1915: Networks of British Empire, is a critical historical investigation of South Asian contributions to British literary, social, cultural and political life in the period 1870-1915. Indian Arrivals won the ESSE biennial prize (2015-16). Her most recent book is Postcolonial Poetics (2018), a study of how we read postcolonial and world literatures today, and how the structures of that writing shape our reading.



Roger Zetter 

Emeritus Professor of Refugee Studies, Former Director at the Refugee Studies Centre

Roger Zetter

Roger Zetter is Emeritus Professor of Refugee Studies, retiring as the fourth Director of the Refugee Studies Centre in September 2011. His long association with the RSC commenced in 1988 as Founding Editor of the Journal of Refugee Studies, published by Oxford University Press, a position held until 2001. In an academic career spanning over 35 years and with regional expertise in sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the Middle East, his teaching, research, publications and consultancy have included all stages of the ‘refugee and displacement cycle’. He has written over 45 peer reviewed journal papers, six books, 32 book chapters, 21 major research reports/monographs, and numerous op. eds. His 1991 Journal of Refugee Studies paper, ‘Labelling refugees: forming and transforming a bureaucratic identity’ is one of the most widely cited in refugee studies. For the centenary of Oxford University Press Journals, the paper was selected as one of the 100 most influential papers published over the previous century.

Jane Barlow 

jane barlow

Professor of Evidence Based Intervention and Policy Evaluation at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford

Jane Barlow is Professor of Evidence Based Intervention and Policy Evaluation at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford. Jane’s main research interest is the role of early parenting in the aetiology of mental health problems, and the evaluation of interventions aimed at improving parenting practices during pregnancy and the postnatal period. She also undertakes research to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions aimed at preventing child abuse. She is currently President of AIMH UK, Affiliate Council Representative of the Executive Board of WAIMH, an Associate Editor for the Infant Mental Health Journal, and was a member of PreVAiL (Preventing Violence Across the Lifespan). She is currently undertaking research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on services from pregnancy through age 5 years for families who are high risk or have complex social needs.

Ian Thompson 

Associate Professor of English Education at the Department of Education, University of Oxford

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson is an Associate Professor of English Education at the Department of Education and Director of the PGCE course. He is joint convenor of the Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT) and a Fellow of St. Hugh’s College. Ian is currently co-PI on the £2.55 million ESRC funded project ‘Excluded Lives: the Political Economies of School Exclusion and their Consequences’. He has previously undertaken research on disparities in rates of permanent exclusion from school across the UK. His published work includes the co-authored book Poverty in Education Across the UK: A Comparative Analysis of Policy and Place (2020).




Eusebius McKaiser

Broadcaster and Writer

Eusebius McKaiser stands in a blue suit and shirt against a grey wall. His arms are raised

Eusebius McKaiser is a broadcaster, political analyst, lecturer and author. He has, for many years, presented and produced several current affairs shows in South Africa on SABC, eNCA, Power 98.7 and 702.   

He is the author of three bestselling books: A Bantu In My Bathroom, Could I Vote DA? and Run, Racist, Run.  

He has studied law and philosophy, specialising in moral philosophy, which he has also taught in South Africa and in the UK. He has a particular interest in racism and moral epistemology.  

Eusebius has written prolifically as a political analyst including as a columnist for local publications like Business Day and Mail and Guardian, and internationally he carried a column in New York Times. He has appeared on many global platforms including BBC, Al Jazeera and CNN, among others.  

Eusebius enjoys a good debate, having previously won the national university debate championship as a young student and later the world masters debate championship. He also coaches debate, public speaking and critical thinking. 

In the Guardian




Professor Simukai Chigudu

Associate Professor of African Politics, ODID

Professor Simukai Chigudu Oxford

Simukai Chigudu is Associate Professor of African Politics and Fellow of St Antony's College. He is principally interested in the social politics of inequality in Africa, which he examines using disease, public health, violence, and social suffering as organising frameworks for both historical and contemporary case studies. His award-winning monograph The Political Life of an Epidemic: Cholera, Crisis and Citizenship in Zimbabwe (Cambridge University Press 2020) explored the social and political causes and consequences of Zimbabwe’s catastrophic cholera outbreak in 2008/09, the worst in African history. He has published articles in a number of peer-reviewed scholarly journals including African Affairs, Global Health Governance, Health Economics, Policy and Law, the International Feminist Journal of Politics, Health Policy and Planning, Seizure: The European Journal of Epilepsy, Feminist Africa, and The Lancet. He has previously worked and conducted research in Zimbabwe, Uganda, The Gambia, Tanzania and South Africa. Prior to academia, he was a medical doctor in the UK’s National Health Service where he worked for three years. He has been a prolific media commentator on both Black Lives Matter and Covid-19.

Professor Patricia Daley

Professor of Human Geography, Geography

Professor Patricia Daley

Patricia Daley is Professor of the Human Geography of Africa and Director of Undergraduate Studies. She is also Vice-Principal and The Helen Morag Fellow in Geography at Jesus College, Oxford. She was co-founder of the Oxford University Black and Minority Ethnic staff network. Her research explores themes including the political economy of population migration and settlement, racial hierarchies and violence, intersectionality and feminist geo-politics, and political ecology, mainly with a geographical focus on East and Central Africa, and also the UK. She is author of Gender and Genocide in Burundi: The search for spaces of peace in the Great Lakes Region (James Currey 2008) and co-editor (with Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 2018) of the Handbook of South-South Relations (Routledge, 2018). Her articles have appeared in Political Geography, Third World Quarterly, and Migration and Society. In addition to academic fora, Professor Daley speaks at community events and to the media.

Professor David Kirk

Professor of Sociology

Professor David Kirk

David Kirk is Professor of Sociology and Professorial Fellow at Nuffield College. His research focuses on a series of inter-related themes that explore the relationship between race, inequality, and criminal justice in the United States: the causes and consequences of police misconduct, solutions to criminal recidivism, and the causes and consequences of gun violence. His new book, Home Free (Oxford University Press 2020), traces the effect of residential displacement among the formerly incarcerated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Another project, called the Maryland Opportunities through Vouchers Experiment (MOVE), involves an experimental housing mobility program for ex-prisoners. His research has appeared in American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Criminology, and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Professor Dame Polly Courtice, DBE, LVO 

Founder Director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Dame Polly Courtice sits on a wooden bench

Polly is Founder Director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), which since its foundation in 1988 has grown to become an internationally recognised centre of excellence in sustainability leadership. She is also Founder Director of The Prince of Wales's Business & Sustainability Programme, and Academic Director of the University’s Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership. She is Chair of the Faculty Board of Engineering, a Director of Judge Business School Executive Education Limited, and a member of the University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy Committee. She is a By-Fellow of Churchill College and an Honorary Fellow of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. 

External appointments: Polly is a Commissioner on the Commission on Climate for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, a Director of Jupiter Green Investment Trust and a Non-Executive Director of Anglian Water Services Ltd. She is a Board Advisor to the British Standards Institute and serves on the environmental/sustainability advisory boards for AstraZeneca, Lloyds Banking Group and Nespresso. She is a member of the judging panel for the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development, and Chair of the Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards. 

Honours and awards: In 2016 she was nominated by the University of Cambridge and appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to Sustainability Leadership. Prior to that in 2008 Polly had been made a Lieutenant of the Victorian Order (LVO) announced in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. In 2015 she received Stanford University’s Bright Award for Environmental Sustainability which recognises ‘an individual who has made unheralded contributions to environmental sustainability’. In 2016 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at Ethical Corporation’s annual Responsible Business Awards, and in 2018 she received Business Green’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Polly holds a BA from the University of Cape Town and an MA from the University of Cambridge. 

Twitter: @polly_courtice


Professor Cameron Hepburn

Professor of Environmental Economics, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

Prof Cameron Hepburn

Cameron Hepburn is Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford, and Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. He also serves as the Director of the Economics of Sustainability Programme, based at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School. Cameron has published widely on energy, resources and environmental challenges across disciplines including engineering, biology, philosophy, economics, public policy and law. His publications include National Wealth: What is Missing, Why it Matters. (edited with Kirk Hamilton, Oxford University Press, 2017) and Nature in the Balance: The Economics of Biodiversity (edited with Dieter Helm, Oxford University Press, 2014). His work has been published in Science, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, and Nature, for example. He has co-founded three successful businesses and has provided advice on energy and environmental policy to government ministers (e.g. China, India, UK and Australia) and international institutions (e.g. OECD, UN).

Professor Colin Mayer CBE

Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies

Prof Colin Mayer

Colin Mayer CBE is Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies at the Said Business School and a Professorial Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford. He served as Dean of the Business School between 2006 and 2011. His most recent research focuses on role of the corporation in contemporary society. In addition he has published widely on corporate finance, governance, and taxation. He recently published the critically acclaimed Prosperity: Better Business Makes the Greater Good (Oxford University Press, 2018). He was a founding editor of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy and a director and chairman of Oxera between 1986 and 2010, and was instrumental in building the firm into what is now one of the largest independent economics consultancies in Europe. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the European Corporate Governance Institute.



Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC, FRSA

Barrister, Broadcaster and Labour Member of the House of Lords

Baroness Helena Kennedy in a Burgundy sweater stands against a grey backdrop

Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, QC, FRSA, HonFRSE is a Scottish barrister, broadcaster, and Labour member of the House of Lords. She served as Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford from 2011 to 2018.



Dr Shona Minson

British Academy Post Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Criminology

Associate Professor Zofia Stemplowska

Associate Professor of Political Theory

Zofia Stemplowska

Zofia Stemplowska is Associate Professor of Political Theory, in the Department of Politics and International Relations, and Asa Briggs Fellow at Worcester College. Her research focuses on the problem of what people owe to each other as a matter of domestic, global and historical (post war) justice. She is also interested in the debate about ideal and nonideal theory: the problem of how to make theories of justice relevant to urgent, real world problems while avoiding ad hoc theorizing and defeatism. She is co-editor of Responsibility and Distributive Justice (with Carl Knight, Oxford University Press, 2011). She has published in Social Philosophy & Policy, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Journal of Social Philosophy, and Political Studies Review. She has also regularly written for the Times Literary Supplement.



Professor Jonathan Wolff

Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy

Prof Jonathan Wolff

Jonathan Wolff is the Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy and Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College. He was formerly Blavatnik Chair in Public Policy at the School, and before that Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Arts and Humanities at UCL. He is currently developing a new research programme on revitalising democracy and civil society, in accordance with the aims of the Alfred Landecker Professorship. His other current work largely concerns equality, disadvantage, social justice and poverty, as well as applied topics such as public safety, disability, gambling, and the regulation of recreational drugs, which he has discussed in his books Ethics and Public Policy: A Philosophical Inquiry (Routledge 2011) and The Human Right to Health (Norton 2012). His most recent book is An Introduction to Moral Philosophy (Norton 2018). Earlier works include Disadvantage (OUP 2007), with Avner de-Shalit; An Introduction to Political Philosophy (OUP, 1996, third edition 2016); Why Read Marx Today? (OUP 2002); and Robert Nozick (Polity 1991). He writes a regular column on higher education for The Guardian.


Dr Hugo Slim

Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) at the Blavatnik School of Government


Dr Hugo slim wear a suit, the image is black and white

Between 2015 and 2020, he was Head of Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, where he led humanitarian policymaking and diplomacy on protracted conflict, migration, internal displacement, urban warfare, new weapons and climate and conflict. He also coordinated the ICRC’s delegation to the United Nations in New York.

Before joining the Blavatnik School, Hugo held positions at the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University, and visiting positions at the University of Oregon and the Graduate Institute in Geneva. He has held operational and policy positions with Save the Children, the United Nations and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, and been a board member for Oxfam GB and the Catholic Agency for International Development (CAFOD).

Hugo’s research focuses on an analysis of the 21st century battlefield from outer space to intimate space and its implications for future humanitarian policy. It is commissioned and funded by the ICRC, British Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross and German Red Cross.

His latest books are Humanitarian Ethics: A Guide to the Morality of Aid in War and Disasters in 2015, which thinks through the applied ethics of humanitarian action, and Killing Civilians: Method, Madness and Morality in War in 2007, which analyses the causes and ethics of civilian suffering in war.

In 2001, the MSc on Development and Emergency Practice at Oxford Brookes University, led by Hugo with Nabeel Hamdi, won a Queen’s Prize for Higher Education for its 'exceptional innovation in the education of humanitarian professionals'.



Professor Danny Dorling

Halford Mackinder Professorship in Geography

200227 danny dorling copy

Danny Dorling is the Halford Mackinder Professorship in Geography. His work concerns issues of housing, health, employment, education, wealth and poverty. His recent books include, co-authored texts: The Atlas of the Real World: Mapping the way we live; Bankrupt Britain: An atlas of social change; Rule Britannia: Brexit and the end of empire; and Finntopia: what we can learn from the world's happiest country. Sole authored books include, So you think you know about Britain and Fair Play, both in 2011; in 2012 The No-nonsense Guide to Equality, The Visualization of Social Spatial Structure and The Population of the UK; Unequal Health, The 32 Stops and Population Ten Billion in 2013; All That is Solid in 2014; and Injustice: Why social inequalities persist revised in 2015. In 2016 with Bethan Thomas he authored People and Places: A 21st century atlas of the UK, A Better Politics: How government can make us happier and with Carl Lee: Geography: ideas in profile. In 2017 with Dimitris Ballas and Ben Hennig he produced The Human Atlas of Europe and also wrote the sole authored book The Equality Effect: Improving life for everyone. In 2018 he edited Peak Inequality: Britain's ticking time bomb. In 2020 he published Slowdown: the end of the great acceleration - and why it's good for the planet, the economy, and our lives. Much of Danny's work is available open access (see www.dannydorling.org).

Professor Stathis Kalyvas

Gladstone Professor of Government at the Department of Politics and International Relations

stathis kalyvas

Stathis Kalyvas is Gladstone Professor of Government at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of All Souls College. Until 2017, he was the Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where he founded and headed the Program on Order, Conflict and Violence. His research focuses on civil war, ethnic and non-ethnic violence, and the formation of cleavages and identities. He has also researched party politics and political institutions in Europe. His publications include the widely acclaimed and cited The Logic of Violence in Civil War (Cambridge University Press 2006) and Civil Wars (Policy Press 2017). His work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, and Journal of Conflict Resolution. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.


Professor Kate O'Regan

Director of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights

Prof Kate O'Regan

Kate O'Regan is the inaugural Director of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and a former judge of the South African Constitutional Court (1994 – 2009). In the mid-1980s she practiced as a lawyer in Johannesburg in a variety of fields, but especially labour law and land law, representing many of the emerging trade unions and their members, as well as communities threatened with eviction under apartheid land laws. In 1990, she joined the Faculty of Law at UCT where she taught a range of courses including race, gender and the law, labour law, civil procedure and evidence. Since her fifteen-year term at the South African Constitutional Court ended in 2009, she has amongst other things served as an ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court of Namibia (from 2010 - 2016), Chairperson of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown in trust between the police and the community of Khayelitsha (2012 – 2014), and as a member of the boards or advisory bodies of many NGOs working in the fields of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and equality.


Press and media enquiries: Esme Wilks, Head of Communications

Student enquiries: please contact the series convenors, Professor Alexander Betts and Professor Susan James Relly.