Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Plenary speaker

Professor Maxine Molyneux

Director of the Institute of the Americas, Plenary Speaker for SLAS 2009

"Latin America's 'Neoliberal' Social Policy: what's neoliberal about it?"

Friday, 27 March 2009

Professor Maxine Molyneux is the current Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London. She is a political sociologist who is world renowned for her research in the fields of gender, public policy and development studies.

Her early research contributed to the study of revolutions and transitions from authoritarian rule in Latin America and the former Soviet Union, with recent work engaging in the debates over globalisation, human rights, citizenship, and social policy in Latin America. Her groundbreaking theoretical analysis of practical and strategic gender interests remains a cornerstone of international feminist research on gender and development in societies in transition.

Her work has spanned the scholarly and international policy worlds, notably through a long standing involvement in the 'Beijing Process', both as a participant in the world of women's rights and advocacy, and in association with various departments of the United Nations, particularly UNRISD (UN Research Institute for Social Development), with which she has a longstanding relationship as an advisor on research programmes and policies.

Her current research focuses on social policy and social protection in Latin America since the structural reforms of the 1980s, which examines the range of anti-poverty policies introduced in recent decades in a wide range of contexts in Central America and the Caribbean, and South America, revealing the politics of social policy in a highly diverse and rapidly changing region.

She is, in many ways, an intellectual of our era, and we are delighted to host her as our keynote speaker, to address the 2009 conference theme of "(Re) Invasions and Inventions: Latin America confronts the 21st century."

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