UCL Institute of the Americas


Maxine Molyneux

Professor Maxine Molyneux

Professor of Sociology

Maxine Molyneux.


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.

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.

Research Summary

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.

Teaching Summary

Professor Molyneux is currently teaching on the MSc in Globalisation and Latin American Development and contributes to the Masters methods course, Researching the Americas.

Research Supervision: 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.