Prof. J. Allister McGregor

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Allister is Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield, UK. Before coming to Sheffield he was at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, where he was leader of Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team and a member of the Senior Management Group. For many years prior to that he was in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Bath.

Allister graduated from the University of Stirling with a Joint Honours Degree in Economics and Social Anthropology (the only one granted by the University before Social Anthropology at Strirling was closed down). He then sought to pursue a career in international development, first working for Oxfam UK before taking a Dutch Government Postgraduate Scholarship to study for a Masters year at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He completed his PhD at the University of Bath on the role of credit and debt in rural Bangladesh, exploring the relationships between poverty and patronage.

Throughout his career he has used his background in economics, politics and social anthropology to study how the formulation and implementation of policies impact on poor people. His research involves the exploration of the interplay between poverty, vulnerability, power and inequalities. Between 2002 and 2008 he was Director of the ESRC Research Group on Wellbeing in Developing Countries (WeD). This involved a large multi-country, multidisciplinary team studying the social and cultural construction of wellbeing in four developing countries (Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Peru and Thailand). He has written extensively on the concept and methodologies for understanding human wellbeing and has worked with a range of organisations to operationalise it for public policy and practice. He was a lead author in and co-editor of ‘Wellbeing in Developing Countries.’ Cambridge University Press, 2007. He has acted advisor and consultant to wide range of national and interantional organisations (including UK DFID, UNICEF, OECD, OXFAM).

Full profile and publications.