SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Professor Barbara Harriss-White

MA (Oxon), Dip.Ag.Sc. (Ag.Econ.) (Cantab), PhD
  • Research
  • Publications


Barbara Harriss White
Department of Development Studies

Professorial Research Associate

Professor Barbara Harriss-White
Email address:


Barbara is the Director of Wolfson College’s South Asia Research Cluster and of Area Studies Research Project on the Materiality of India’s Informal Economy at Oxford University. She was the Founder-Director of Oxford University’s Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme in the School of Area Studies and organiser of the world’s first MSc in Contemporary India. She has written, edited or co-edited and published 40 books and major reports, published over 270 scholarly papers and chapters and over 100 working papers. Her book ‘Rural Commercial Capital’ won the Edgar Graham prize. She works on India’s political economy, in particular food and energy, and aspects of deprivation – all through field research. She is Emeritus Professor of Development Studies, Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and a Professorial Research Associate at SOAS.


  • International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington
  • Governing Body Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford
  • Director of the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg
  • Oxford College representative for the Africa Medical Research and Education Foundation, AMREF


Barbara Harriss-White's research interests have developed from the economics of agricultural markets to India's socially regulated capitalist economy and corporate capital; and from the malnutrition caused by markets to many other aspects of deprivation: notably poverty, gender bias and gender relations, health and disability, destitution and caste discrimination. She has a long term interest in agrarian change in S. India and has also tracked the economy of a market town there since 1972. 

Barbara has been a Trustee of ActionAid for many years and joined the Board of Trustees of the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, in 2006. She is also a founder member of the British Academy’s South Asia Panel.

Personal web site: Barbara_Harriss-White and


Authored Books

Harriss-White, Barbara (2008) Rural Commercial Capital: Agricultural Markets in West Bengal. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Harriss-White, Barbara (2005) India's Market Society. New Delhi: Three Essays Press.

Harriss-White, Barbara and Janakarajan, S. (2004) Rural India Facing the Twenty-first Century. London: Anthem Press.

Harriss-White, Barbara (2003) India Working: Essays on Economy and Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Harriss-White, Barbara and Erb, Susan (2002) Outcast from Social Welfare: Adult Disability in Rural South India. Bangalore: Books for Change.


Khan, Mushtaq (1996) 'A Typology of Corrupt Transactions in Developing Countries'. IDS Bulletin, (27) 2, pp 12-21.

Edited Books or Journals

Harriss-White, Barbara and Stewart, Frances and Saith, Ruhi, (eds.), (2007) Defining Poverty in Developing Countries. London: Palgrave.

Harriss-White, Barbara and Sinha, Anushree, (eds.), (2007) Trade Liberalisation and India's Informal Economy: Macro meets Micro. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Harriss-White, Barbara and Altvater, Elmar and Leys, Colin and Panitch, Leo, (eds.), (2006) Coming to Terms with Nature: The Politics of the Ecological Challenge. London: Merlin Press.

Harriss-White, Barbara, (ed.), (2002) Globalisation and Insecurity: Political Economy and Physical Challenges. London: Palgrave.

Book Chapters

Harriss-White, Barbara and Basile, Elisabetta (2004) 'Corporatist Capitalism: The Politics of Accumulation in South India'. In: Benewick, R. and Bletcher, M. and Cook, S., (eds.), Asian Politics in Development: essays in honour of Gordon White. London: Frank Cass.

Harriss-White, Barbara (2002) 'Development and Productive Deprivation: Male Patriarchal Relations in Business Families and their Implications for Women in India'. In: Lourdes, Beneria and Bisnath, Savitri, (eds.), Global tensions: challenges and opportunities in the world economy. New York; London: Routledge.

Monographs and Working Papers

McCartney, Matthew and Harriss-White, Barbara (2000) Intermediate Regimes and Intermediate Classes Revisited: A Critical Political Economy of Indian Economic Development from 1980 to Hindutva. QEH Working Papers No 34.


This list was last generated on Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 15:39 Europe/London.