Professor Maxine Molyneux

Professor of Sociology


Maxine Molyneux was born in Pakistan and grew up in India and Latin America. She is Professor of Sociology and was Director of the UCL Institute of the Americas until April 2014. Among the topics of the doctoral students that she currently supervises are Latin American development policy, gender, law and politics, and the social effects of inequality.

Prior to joining UCL in 2012 she was Professor of Sociology and from 2008, Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the School of Advanced Study, London University. Until 2011 she also served as the Chair of the Steering Group of the Human Rights Consortium of the School of Advanced Study.

She previously held full time posts at the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) at the University of London, also at the Politics and Sociology Department of Birkbeck College and the Sociology Department of Essex University from where she gained her PhD in 1983.

Maxine Molyneux has written extensively in the fields of political sociology, gender and development, human rights and social policy, and has authored books on Latin America, Ethiopia and South Yemen.

She has also acted as a senior adviser, consultant and researcher to UNRISD, UNIFEM and UN Women on a variety of research projects, as well as to IDRC (Canada), and Oxfam, and has undertaken and led funded research for the UK’s Department for International Development, CARE International and other development policy agencies and NGOs.

The most recent project for which she served as Research Director was a five country qualitative study of the social effects of Cash Transfers, commissioned by DFID and undertaken on behalf of the Overseas Development Institute: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dfid-research-transforming-cash-transfers 

She is the editor of Palgrave/Macmillan’s Studies of the Americas Series and serves on the Editorial Boards of Economy and Society and the Journal of Latin American Studies. She is an International Editor of the Journal of Development Studies.

Among her recent and current memberships are the following:

  • Latin American Studies Association Executive Committee, 2010-2013
  • Scientific Council of the Institut des Amériques, Paris 2010-present.
  • British Academy: LAC Areas Panel, 2008-present
  • Chair of Standing Conference of UK Latin American and Caribbean Centres, 2008-present
  • Board of Trustees of Canning House, 2008-2014
  • International Advisory Board of the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Newcastle University, 2015-present
  • Advisory Committee of the Simon Bolivar Professorship in Latin American Studies at Cambridge University, 2013-2016.
  • Chair of the Labour Party’s International Development Policy Review Task Force on ‘Inequality Between and Within Countries’, 2011-12

Current research

Maxine Molyneux’s current research is on the transformations of welfare systems in Latin America, and on ciitizen participation and accountability in social protection in Latin America.

icons_PM__phone.png +44 (0)20 3108 9718; internal extension: 59718
icons_PM__mail.png Office 208, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN
icons_PM__home.png m.molyneux@ucl.ac.uk

Current teaching and research supervision

Prof Molyneux is currently teaching on the MSc in Globalisation and Latin American Development and contributes to the Masters methods course, Researching  the Americas. She supervises seven doctoral students working on a range of subjects including Latin American development policy, gender and politics,social inequality, social movements and social policy.



The Social and Political Potential of Cash Transfers, ed. Maxine Molyneux, with Nicola Jones and Fiona Samuels, forthcoming Routledge.

The Politics of Rights: Dilemmas for Feminist Praxis (ed. with Andrea Corwall) Routledge 2007/8.

Gender Justice, Development and Rights (ed. with S. Razavi) Oxford University Press  2003

Doing the Rights Thing: Rights-Based Development and Latin American NGOs in Latin America  (with Sian Lazar)  Intermediate Technology Publications Group, 2003

Women's Movements in International Perspective: Latin America and Beyond. Palgrave/Macmillan (and pbk ISA/Brookings Series), 2003 and 2000 translated with two new chapters as: Movimientos de Mujeres en América Latina: Estudio Comparativa y Teórico Cátedra, Spain, 2003 

Gender and the Politics of Rights and Democracy in Latin America  (ed. with N. Craske) Palgrave, 2002.

The Hidden Histories of  Gender and the State in Latin America (ed. with E. Dore) Duke U.P. 2000

The Ethiopian Revolution (with Fred Halliday), Verso/NLB London, 1982

State Policies and the Position of Women in Democratic Yemen, I.L.O., Geneva, 1982

La Voz de La Mujer: Periódico Comunista-Anárquico, University of Quilmes, Buenos Aires, 1997.

Selected articles, special issues, policy reports and other publications

  • ‘Can Cash Transfers have Transformative Effects?’ Introduction to Special Issue on Social Protection, with N.Jones and F. Samuels, Journal of Development Studies, Vol 52, 8, 2016.
  • ‘Gender, Urban Poverty and social protection: Lessons from Latin America’ with Nicola Jones and Maria Stavropolous, published in the State of The Urban Poor Report: Gender and Urban Poverty, Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Special Issue of the Journal of Development Studies: Can Cash Transfer Programmes have ‘Transformative’ effects? (9 articles plus introduction, with N. Jones, F. Samuels). July 2016
  • ‘Giving the Poor a Say: Transforming social protection’ (Comment) Gender and Development Vol 21:2 July 2013 pp 397-401, Oxfam: Routledge
  • Special Issue: Limits to Progress and Change: Reflections on Latin American Social Policy (with Jasmine Gideon) Social Politics Vol 19, Issue 3 2012.
  • Special Issue: 'Latin American Capitalism: Economic and Social Policy in Transition,' Economy and Society co-edited and introduced with Diego Sanchez Ancochea and Juliana Martínez Franzoni, Vol 38/1 February 2009.
  • ’Abortion Law Reforms in Colombia and Nicaragua: Issue Networks and Opportunity Contexts’ with C. Reutersward, P. Zetterberg, S.Thapar-Bjorkert:  Development and Change, vol 42/3, 2011, pp 807-831
  • Conditional Cash Transfers: A ‘Pathway to Women’s Empowerment’? Pathways Working Paper, 5, IDS, Sussex, 2008, pp 1-97. (Also can be found as an online resource for Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (http://www.gsdrc.org/), placed March 2011. Also see Annotated Bibliography on CCTs in Latin America (with C.Tabbush) IDS Pathways Project, available on Americas.sas.ac.uk/molyneux 2009.
  • ‘Justicia de Género, ciudadanía y diferencia en América Latina’  Studia Histórica,  Special Issue Historia Reciente de América Latina 181-211, Vol 28, 2010.
  • Special Section entitled 'New Developments in Latin America’s Social Policy', co-edited and introduced with Armando Barrientos and Jasmine Gideon, Development and Change, 39 (5) 2008
  • ‘Cash transfers, Gender Equity and Women’s Empowerment in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia’ (with Marilyn Thomson), Gender and Development Vol 19: 2, 2011, pp 195-210.
  • ‘La Voz de la Mujer:1896-1897’  Genre, Postcolonialisme et diversité des movements de Femmes. Cahiers Genre et Développement No 7. 241-247, Paris: L’Harmattan, 2011.
  • ‘Mobilisation without Emancipation; Women’s Interests, the State and Revolution in Nicaragua’ excerpt reprinted as lead article in anthology Women, Gender and Politics: a Reader edited by Mona Lena Krook and Sarah Childs, OUP, Oxford, 2010.
  • ‘Mothers At The Service Of The New Poverty Agenda: PROGRESA/Oportunidades, Mexico’s Conditional Transfer Programme’, 2006 Journal of Social Policy and Administration, Vol 40, 2/3, 2006.
  • 'Change and Continuity in Social Protection: Mothers at the Service of the State,' Gender and Development Papers pp 98,  No. 1, UNRISD, Geneva, 2007
  • ‘The ‘Neoliberal Turn’ and the New Social Policy in Latin America: How Neoliberal? How New?’ Development and Change 39 (5) pp 775-797, 2008
  • ‘New Developments in Latin America’s Social Policy’ (with Armando Barrientos and Jasmine Gideon) Development and Change 39 (5) pp 759-774, 2008
  • ‘Refiguring Citizenship: Research Perspectives on Gender Justice in the Latin American and Caribbean Region’ in Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay and N. Singh eds. Gender Justice, Citizenship and Development, Zubaan, 2007).
  • ‘Two Cheers for Conditional Cash Transfers’ in Institute of Development Studies Bulletin, Vol 38, No 3 May 2007.69-75
  • 'Gender Equality: Striving for Justice in an Unequal World' (contributing co-editor), UNRISD 2005 (UNRISD Report for Beijing Plus 10 presented to the UN General Assembly).
  • 'The Chimera of Success: Gender Ennui and the Changed International Policy Environment’ in A. Cornwall et al. Eds. Feminisms in Development: Contradictions, Contestations and Challenges London: Zed 2007, pp 227-240. Also published as ‘The Chimera of Success’ Institute of Development Studies Bulletin Vol 35 No 4 Oct 2004, and translated into Spanish for forthcoming publication of Red HAINA, Sweden, 2007 Also as ‘La Címera del Éxito’ in Maria Clara Medina, Edmé Dominguez & Rosalba Icaza Garza eds, Género y globalización en América Latina. Décimo aniversario de la Red Haina (1996-2006), Serie Haina volumen 6. Instituto Iberoamericano, Universidad de Göteborg Dec.2006 (ISSN 1403-3933 ISBN 978-91-977042-1-2).
  • ‘La Política de Desarrollo y la dimensión de Género del Capital Social’ (Development Policy and the Gender Dimension of Social Capital), Papeles por la Paz Issue 101, Spring 2008, pp 63-81 special issue on Social Cohesion - De Que Depende Cohesion Social? (CIP, Madrid)
  • ‘Beijing Plus Ten: An Ambivalent Record of Progress’ (with Shahra Razavi) lead article in Special Issue of Development and Change Vol 36, No. 6, pp 983-1010, 2005 and in an expanded version under the same title as UNRISD Occasional Paper 15, 2006 pp1-27. 
  • ‘El Ecofeminismo de Mies y Shiva: un Nuevo Testamento?’ (with Deborah Steinberg) In Verónica Vazquez García y Margarita Velásquez Gutierrez , Miradas al Futuro: Hacia la construcción de sociedades sustentables con equidad de genero UNAM Mexico 2004
  • ‘La Política de los derechos y sus transformaciones. Mujeres, derechos y democracia en América Latina’ in Pasajes de Pensamiento Contemporáneo 12:, pp 83-96
  • ‘Droits des femmes, Culture et Justice’ (with S. Razavi) in Genre, Pouvoirs et Justice Sociale, Cahiers Genre et Developpement No 4 , L’Harmattan, Geneva 2003
  • 'Interests, Strategic and Practical' Entry for Routledge International Encyclopaedia of Feminist Thought, Routledge 2003
  • ‘Gender and the Silences of Social Capital: Lessons from Latin America’ Development and Change Vol. 33 167-188, 2002.
  • 'Mondialisation et inégalité sexuelle' in Barret-Ducrocq, F. (ed.) Quelle Mondialisation? Paris: Bernard Grasset 141-153, 2002.
  • 'Género y Ciudadanía en América Latina: Cuestiones Históricas y Contemporáneas' in Debates Feministas (Mexico) pp. 1-63, 2002.
  • 'Women’s Movements' – Entry in the Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought, ed William Outhwaite, 2002
  • 'Ethnography and Global Processes’ in Ethnography, Vol 1, No. 2. 2001.
  • ‘Twentieth Century State Formations in Latin America’ Introductory Chapter of Dore and Molyneux 2000, op.cit.
  • State, Gender and Institutional Change: The Women’s Federation of Cuba Research Paper No 43, Institute for Latin American Studies, 1996, translated into Spanish and appeared as ‘Estado, Género y Cambio institucional en el período especial Cubano: la Federación de Mujeres Cubanas’in Irene López y Ana Rosa Alcade eds. Relaciones de género y Desarrollo Instituto Universitario de Desarrollo y cooperación, Madrid, 1999
  • Understanding Women’s Social Capital, 2005 Global Exchange Forum Report, The Foreign Policy Centre and Barrow Cadbury Trust, London, pp 3-21
  • ‘Gender and Citizenship in Comparative Perspective' in J. Cook, J. Roberts and G. Waylen eds: Towards a Gendered Political Economy, Macmillan, pp. 121-144, 2000.
  • 'The Politics of Abortion in Nicaragua: Revolutionary Pragmatism or Feminism in the Realm of Necessity?', Feminist Review, No. 29, May 1988. Reprinted in C. Koggel ed. Moral Issues in Global Perspective, Broadview Press, Canada, 2000.
  • ‘Citizenship and Social Policy in Comparative Perspective’ in S. Reuben ed, La Política Social en una Epoca de Transición, FLACSO Costa Rica 2000.
  • ‘The Politics of the Cuban Diaspora in the US’ in V. Bulmer Thomas and J. Dunkerley, The US and Latin America: The New Agenda, ILAS/Harvard, pp. 287-309, 1999.
  • ‘Analysing Women’s Movements,’ Development and Change pp.219-245 Vol.29.2. Reprinted in C. Jackson and R. Pearson eds. Feminist Visions of Development: Gender Analysis and Policy Routledge, pp.65-88, 1998.
  • ‘Debates sobre Comunitarismo, Moralidad y Politicas de Identidad’ in E. Hola and A.M.Portugal eds. La Ciudadanía: A Debate ISIS International and CEM, Santiago, Chile, 1998, pp. 15-34. Republished as: 'Debates sobre comunitarismo, moralidad y politicas de Identidad' in E. Bosch, V.A. Ferrer, T. Riera eds: Una Ciencia No Androcentrica: Reflexions Multidisciplinars Universitat de les Illes Balears, 2000, and translated into Arabic and published in Abwab, pp.100-129, No. 14, Summer 1997.
  • 'The Law, The State and Socialist Policies with regard to women: the case of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen', The International Journal of the Sociology of Law, 13 :147-172. Updated and Reprinted in S. Kruks et. al eds Promissory Notes: Women in the Transition to Socialism, edited by S. Kruks et al. Monthly Review Press 1989, pp.127-147; and in Islam, Women and the State edited by Deniz Kandiyoti (Cambridge University Press), pp.237-254. Translated into Arabic and published in Studies on Women in Yemen ed. Lucine Taminian, Yemen Research Series, 3. (Ardmore PA: American Institute for Yemeni Studies, pp.205-253, 1997.
  • 'The Latin American Left' Review Article, Bulletin of Latin American Research Vol 15 No 3 September, pp, 387-392, 1996.
  • 'Women's Rights and the International Context: Some Reflections on the Post-Communist States' Millennium: Journal of International Studies Vol 23. No 2. (Translation appeared in Más Allá del Derecho, Vol 4 Issue No. 11 Dec. 1994, ILSA, Bogota. Updated and reprinted in M. Threlfall ed. Mapping Women's Movements, Verso, 1996
  • 'Mies and Shiva's Ecofeminism: a new Testament?' (with Deborah Steinberg), Feminist Review No 49, pp 84 –107, Spring 1995. Translation appeared in Ecología Política No 8
  • 'Beyond the Domestic Labour Debate', New Left Review, No. 116 1979, pp 3-27. Translated, and published as - 'Il dibattito sul lavoro domestico', in Donna, Woman, Femme, 12/13, (1979) and - 'Huishoudelijke arbeid-debat voorbij', Krisis (May 1980), and - 'Critique of the Domestic Labour Debate' in Economic Labour Studies, Vol. 7, March l987 (Japan). 'Más Allá del debate sobre el Trabajo Domestico' in C. Borderías, C Carrasco y C. Alemany eds, Las Mujeres y el Trabajo: Rupturas Conceptuales Fuhem, Madrid and Barcelona, 1995.
  • 'Women's Rights and Political Contingency: The Case of Yemen 1990-1994’Middle East Journal Vol.49, No 3 Summer (pp 418-431). 1995 Updated and reprinted as Chapter 7 ‘Women's rights and political conflict in Yemen 1990-1994’ in R. Wilford and R. Miller eds. Women, Ethnicity and Nationalism: The Politics of Divided Societies 133-149, London: New York 1998.
  • '"The Woman Question" in the Age of Perestroika' New Left Review, No 183 September/October, pp.23-49 1989. Reprinted in R. Blackburn (ed), After the Fall (Verso 1991) (pp.17-77). Reprinted as 'The Woman Question in the Age of Communism's Collapse' in Mary Evans ed. The Woman Question Second Ed., Sage.
  • Oxford Dictionary of Sociology, ed. Gordon Marshall: contributed 54 entries on development related concepts, 1994.

Page last modified on 02 sep 14 11:58 by Oscar V Martinez Gonzalez