Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Contact Details

Dr Polly Wilding

Lecturer in Gender and International Development

A Latin American specialist, I am interested in how we theorise and understand practices of violence, and its reproduction. I have researched how the threat and reality of violence impact on the rights and everyday experiences of marginalised groups who live with consistently high levels of insecurity. 

I have worked with NGOs in Latin America that focus on domestic and urban violence, as well as Northern-based NGOs that work with solidarity models of development assistance.

In 2016 I was appointed as the Discovery Theme Leader for Power and Conflict, bringing together modules, students and lecturers with interests in this area from across the University. To find out more visit: https://leedsforlife.leeds.ac.uk/Broadening/Theme/11 

Research Interests

My main areas of interest are the gendered intersections between different forms of violence that affect urban communities, in particular the linkages between urban and private violence, in the context of Latin America. I am interested in how the issue of violence interacts with a range of gender issues, including poverty, social exclusion, and access to services.


At undergraduate level, I run the Level 3 module, Gender and Violence, which looks at the gendered dynamics and reproduction of violence and conflict. At Master’s level, I teach Gender, Globalisation and Development, which unpacks various development issues from a gender perspective, analysing the gendered causes and consequences of uneven development. I also contribute to lectures and seminars to some of the team taught modules, including the Masters level Global Inequalities module.

My teaching focuses primarily on incorporating a critical gender ‘lens’ to development theory and practice. I employ a range of interactive methods in order to facilitate student engagement with the academic literature, as well as reflecting critically on a range of information sources, including digital media, film and international news sources. I am particularly interested in getting students involved in the wide range of extra-curricular research seminars that the Centre for Global Development holds throughout the year.

PhD Supervision

I welcome candidates who wish to explore social development issues, particularly those applying a gender perspective. I am interested in projects looking at issues of violence and insecurity, community development, gender and work, critical perspectives on empowerment, and the gendered patterns of conflict. I have supervised doctoral studies on the effect of micro-credit on women in disaster-prone areas of Pakistan and on different forms of power in rural areas of Thailand.

I have supervised doctoral studies on the effect of micro-credit on women in disaster-prone areas of Pakistan; violence, gender and masculinities in Israel and Palestine, and on different forms of power in rural areas of Thailand. Current students are carrying out research into global justice and violence against women; gender and tourism in the highland areas of Thailand; sport for development discourse in Cameroon; and women’s agency in the Zambian floriculture industry

Key Publications


Journal articles


  • Wilding P, ‘From assets to actors: Reassessing the integration of girls in anti-gang initiatives in Rio de Janeiro’, in Gender Violence in Poverty Contexts: The Educational Challenge ([n.pub.], 2015), 153-167
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/81792/

  • Hume M, Wilding P, ‘Es que para ellos el deporte es matar”: Rethinking the Scripts of Violent Men in El Salvador and Brazil’, in Violence at the Urban Margins, ed. by Auyero J, Bourgois P and Scheper-Hughes N (Oxford University Press, 2015)
    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190221447.003.0005, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/81793/

  • Wilding P, Pearson R, ‘Gender and violence in Maré, Rio de Janeiro: A tale of two cities?’, in Rethinking Feminist Interventions in the Urban, ed. by Peake L and Rieker M (Routledge, 2013), 159-176
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/81795/

  • Wilding P, ‘Girls and Gangs in Rio’, in Because I am a Girl: The State of the World's Girls 2010 Digital and Urban Frontiers: Girls in a Changing Landscape (Plan International, 2010), 58-58

Internet publications

  • Kale S, Footage of Teen Girl’s Gang Rape by 30 Men in Brazil Circulates Online, ([n.pub.], 2016)

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