Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Professor Ruth Pearson

Emeritus Professor of Development Studies

I came to Leeds in 2000, via a Chair in Women and Development at the Institute for Social Studies in the Hague, and ten years as MA Director in Development Studies at UEA.

My research has recently expanded geographically from a focus on Latin America to include the Thai-Burmese border and the South Asian diaspora in the UK. I am involved with a number of international (UN), bilateral and national development agencies and NGOs.  

Research Interests

My current research is on gender and work in the global economy; homebased work and workers organisations; gendered analysis of production and social reproduction; migrant workers and identity – Burma/Thailand and the UK; gender and economic transition (Cuba); money – micro credit, community currencies; hypothecated taxation; gender and development policy and prospects.

PhD Supervision

I have supervised research degrees on a range of  topics, including: fair trade and labour regulation; gender relations, reproductive rights, religion, marriage (dowry); violence; migration, micro enterprise, land disputes and political economy. My current students work on Southern and West Africa, East Timor, India, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Thailand and Japan.

Key Publications

Chapters in Books
  • Pearson, R.; Tomalin, E. (2007) Intelligent Design? A gender sensitive interrogation of religion and development. In: G. Clarke and M. Jennings (eds.) Faith Matters: Development and the Complex World of Faith-Based Organisations, Palgrave.
  • Pearson, R. (2005) The Rise and Rise of Gender and Development. In: Uma Kothari (ed.) A radical history of development studies: individuals, institutions and ideologies, Zed Books, pp.157-179.
  • Pearson, R.; Seyfang, G. (2002) 'I'll tell you what I want....' : women workers and codes of conduct . In: Jenkins, Rhys, Ruth Person and Gill Seyfang (eds.) Corporate Responsibility and Labour Rights, Earthscan, pp.43-60. 
Journal Articles
  • Pearson, R. (2007) Beyond women workers: Gendering Corporate Social Responsibility. Third World Quarterly, 28(4), pp.731-749.
  • Pearson, R. (2004) "Organising home based workers in the global economy: an action research approach". Development in Practice Vol 14 Nos 1 and 2 Special Issue on Trade Unions and NGOS.
  • Pearson, R. (2003) "Argentina's Barter Network: New Currency for New Times?" Bulletin of Latin American Research, 22(2), pp.214-230.

Media Contact Areas

  • Burmese migrant workers in Thailand
  • Gender and development
  • Fair trade and women workers in the global economy
  • Micro-credit
  • Gender mainstreaming in economic and other public policies
  • Faith-based organisations and development
  • Community currencies

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