Professor Emma Mawdsley




Emma’s research is on the politics of global development. This includes a substantial body of work on ‘South-South’ development cooperation, with a particular but not exclusive focus on India. More recently she has extended her scope to explore how DAC donors are re-purposing their development narratives, tools and agendas to a changing global landscape. This includes work on the domestic politics of aid in the UK, donor-middle income country development transitions, and re-theorising the changing governance of development finance. 


Emma did her undergraduate degree and PhD at St John’s College, Cambridge, the latter under the supervision of Professor Stuart Corbridge. She worked in Durham University (1996-2003) and Birkbeck College, University of London (2003-2006), before moving to her current position at the Geography Department, University of Cambridge. She is Director of the Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies and previously held the position of Vice-Principal of Newnham College.


Emma has undertaken occasional radio and newspaper interviews. In November 2018 she received media training as part of the BBC World Service’s Expert Women programme. 

Recent publications


Mawdsley, E., Fourie, E., & Nauta, W. (2019). Researching South-South Development Cooperation: The Politics of Knowledge Production. London: Routledge

Mawdsley, E. (2012) From Recipients to Donors: The Emerging Powers and the Changing Development Landscape. London: Zed. Translated into Japanese by Dr Mariko Sato, Tsukuba University, Japan.

Mawdsley, E. and McCann, G. (eds) (2011) India and Africa: Changing Geographies of Power and Development. Oxford: Fahamu. 

Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Mawdsley, E. (in press) South-South Cooperation 3.0? Managing the consequences of success in the decade ahead. Oxford Development Studies. 

Mawdsley, E. (in press) Queering development? The unsettling geographies of South-South Cooperation. Antipode

Mawdsley, E. (2018) The Southernisation of Development. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 59 (2), 173-85

Mawdsley, E. (2018) ‘From Billions to Trillions’: Financing the SDGs in a world ‘beyond aid’. Dialogues in Human Geography, 8 (2), 191-95

Mawdsley, E., Murray, W., Overton, J., Scheyvens, R. and Banks, G. (2018) Exporting Stimulus And ‘Shared Prosperity’: Re-Inventing Foreign Aid For A Retroliberal Era. Development Policy Review, 36 (1), 25-43

Mawdsley, E., Kim, S-M. and Marcondes, D. (2017) Political Leadership and ‘Non-Traditional’ Development Partners. Third World Quarterly, 38 (10), 2171-86

Mawdsley, E. (2017) Conservatives and aid. National interests and the paradox of foreign aid under austerity: Conservative governments and the domestic politics of international development since 2010. Geographical Journal, 183 (3), 223-32

Marcondes, D. and Mawdsley, E. (2017) South-South in retreat? Lula-Rousseff-Temer transitions and Brazilian Development Cooperation. International Affairs, 93 (3) 681-99

Svent-Ivanyi, B., Lightfoot, S., and Mawdsley, E. (2017) Brexit and UK International Development Policy. Political Quarterly, published online 19 April, doi: 10.1111/1467-923X.12369

Banks, G., McEwan, C., Mawdsley, E. and Scheyvens, R. (2017) Corporate Community Development: can the private sector succeed? Development and Change 48 (1), 28-53. 

Mawdsley, E. (2016) ‘Development Progress Report II: Financialisation and Development’. Progress in Human Geography.

Mawdsley, E. (2015) Development Progress Report I: Cooperation, competition and convergence between ‘North’ and ‘South’ in international development: Provincialising Development?  Progress in Human Geography, pp.108-17

Mawdsley, E. (2015) DFID, the private sector, and the re-centring of an economic growth agenda in international development. Global Society 29 (3), 339-58.

Mawdsley, E. (2014) Human rights and South-South Development Cooperation: reflections on the ‘rising powers’ as international development actors. Human Rights Quarterly, 36 (3), 630-52

Mawdsley, E. (2014) Public perceptions of India’s role as an international development cooperation partner: domestic responses to rising ‘donor’ visibility. Third World Quarterly35 (6), 958-79.

Mawdsley, E., Savage, L. and Kim, S-M (2014) A ‘Post-Aid World’? Paradigm shift in foreign aid and development cooperation at the 2011 Busan High Level Forum. Geographical Journal180 (1), 27-38

McEwan, C. and Mawdsley, E. (2012) Trilateral Development Cooperation: Power and Politics in Emerging Aid Relations. Development and Change, 43 (6), 1185-1209

Mawdsley, E. (2012) The Changing Geographies of Foreign Aid and Development Cooperation: Contributions from Gift Theory. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 37 (2), 256-272 

Mawdsley, E. (2010) The Non-DAC donors and the changing landscape of foreign aid: the (in)significance of India’s development cooperation with Kenya. Journal of Eastern African Studies, 4 (2), 361-79.