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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Roger Jeffery

Roger Jeffery
Professor Roger Jeffery
Professor of Sociology of South Asia; Associate Director, Edinburgh India Institute
Room 2, 22A Buccleuch Place Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0)131 650 3976
Research Interests
Health policy, Emerging economies and global health, Health systems and global health, Political Economy of India, The Sociology of Scotland, Environment

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • By appointment


  • MA (University of Cambridge)
  • MSc (Soc Sci) (University of Bristol)
  • PhD (University of Edinburgh)

Research Interests

Since 1972, I have conducted a variety of research projects in India and elsewhere in South Asia, including research in village and small-town north India looking at how religious group membership and caste interrelate with childbearing, fertility behaviour, gender politics and schooling, in the context of agrarian change and the decline of the state. Since 2012 I have been involved in a series of projects on contemporary issues in public health in India and elsewhere. I have recently extended my research interests to include (a) environmental policy-making in South Asia; (b) the effects of India on Edinburgh, and more broadly, on Scotland, in the long 19th century, and the implications for contemporary Scottish society, culture and politics.

I am a Co-I in the South Asian Nitrogen Hub (one of the 12 interdisciplinary global research hubs supported by UK Research and Innovation through the Global Challenges Research Fund), a partnership of more than 40 institutions from nine countries, including the South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP). The Hub’s recommendations will support cleaner and more profitable farming, as well as industrial recycling of nitrogen, fostering development of a cleaner circular economy for nitrogen. The Hub started in March 2019 and will continue for 5 years.

I was PI or Co-I in five projects completed since 2012:

(1) 'Advances in Research on Globally Accessible Medicine' (AROGYAM), (Indian-European Research Network Scheme), with partners at the University of Heidelberg, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, India, from October 2012 to 31 December  2016. More details here.

(2) 'Dalit Politics and Democratisation in Tamil Nadu? Charting the Impact of the Liberation Panther Party,'  (ESRC), with Hugo Gorringe (PI),  from January 2012 to January 2014; more details here.

(3) 'Marginal Populations, Social Mobilisation and Development', (UK-India Education and Research Initiative), with Hugo Gorringe (PI) and Jeevan Sharma in Edinburgh, and Suryakant Waghmore (PI), Bipin Jojo and Abdul Shaban in the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, from January 2012 to January 2014; more details here.

(4) 'Access to Medicines in Africa and South Asia (AMASA)', (EU FP7) from January 2009 to November 2013, with, in Edinburgh, Petra Sevcikova, Jude Murison & Valerie Evans; in Queen Mary, London (Allyson Pollock, co-PI) and partners in Belgium, India, South Africa, Switzerland and Uganda. More details here.

(5) 'Biomedical and Health Experimentation in South Asia: Critical Perspectives on Collaboration, Governance and Competition (BHESA)',  (Phase 2 of the ESRC/DFID Joint Programme of research on international development (poverty alleviation)) ending in February 2013, with, in Edinburgh, Ian Harper, Anuj Kapilashrami & Jeevan Sharma; in Durham, Bob Simpson & Salla Sariola; and partners in Mumbai, Kathmandu and Colombo. More details here.

Other activities since 2012:

Until April 2018, I was a member of the evaluation pane for r4d, a programme of research on development for the Swiss National Science Foundation. 

Until April 2013, I was a Member of the Strategic Advisory Team for the ESRC/DFID Joint Programme of research on international development (poverty alleviation) (PI: Professor Paul van Gardingen).

From 2011-15, I was the University's Dean (International) for India

Fom January-July 2015, I was Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies;

From 2012-15, I was Director of the Edinburgh India Institute.

Consultation Hours

By previous appointment: Room 2, 22A Buccleuch Place.

Publications since 2014

Edited Books

(In Press): Madeleine Arnot, Pauline Rose, Roger Jeffery & Nidhi Singal (eds) Reforming Education and Challenging Inequalities in Southern contexts: Research and policy in international development (London: Routledge)

(In Press): Clémence Jullien & Roger Jeffery (eds) Childbirth in South Asia: Old challenges and new paradoxes (New Delhi: Oxford University Press)

2019: Roger Jeffery (ed.) India in Edinburgh: 1750s to the Present Day (New Delhi: Social Science Press; London & New York: Routledge)

2016: Hugo Gorringe, Suryakant Waghmore & Roger Jeffery (eds), From the Margins to the Mainstream (New Delhi: Sage)

2014: Roger Jeffery, Craig Jeffrey & Jens Lerche (eds): Development Failure and Identity Politics in Uttar Pradesh (New Delhi: Sage)

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals

2020: Kristina Pelikan, Roger Jeffery, & Thorsten Roelcke: ‘The time where the British took the lead is over: Writing in complex research partnerships’ Research Ethics, 1-20; DOI: 10.1177/1747016120915253

2019: Kristina Pelikan, Roger Jeffery, Jakob Zinsstag, & Thorsten Roelcke: ‘“mawasiliano ya mradi:” Wissenschaftssprache(n) in Forschungsprojekten’ (Project communication: Scientific language(s) in Research Projects) Bulletin Vals-Asla: Bulletin suisse de linguistique appliquée 109 (Summer).

2018: Salla Sariola, Roger Jeffery, Amar Jesani & Gerard Porter, 'How civil society organisations changed the regulation of clinical trials in India', Science as Culture, available on-line 13 July, DOI: 10.1080/09505431.2018.1493449

2016: Abhay Kadam, Karen Maigetter, Roger Jeffery, Nerges Mistry, Mitchell Weiss & Allyson Pollock, 'Correcting India’s chronic shortage of drug inspectors to ensure the production and distribution of safe, high-quality medicines', International Journal of Health Policy and Management, available on-line, 27 April, doi 10.15171/ijhpm.2016.44.

2015: Salla Sariola, Deapica Ravindran & Roger Jeffery, ‘Big- pharmaceuticalisation: Clinical Trials and Contract Research Organisations in India’, Social Science & Medicine, 131: 239-246, doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.11.052.

2015: Arabella Hayter, Roger Jeffery, Chitra Sharma, Audrey Prost, & Sanjay Kinra ‘Community perceptions of health and chronic disease in South Indian rural transitional communities: A qualitative study’, Global Health Action, 8: 25946,

2014: Bvudzai Magadzire, Ashwin Budden, Kim Ward, Roger Jeffery & David Sanders: ‘Frontline Health Workers as Brokers: Provider Perceptions, Experiences and Mitigating Strategies to Improve Access to Medicines’, BMC Health Services Research.14:520, doi:10.1186/s12913-014-0520-6; online at:

2014: Peter Roderick, Rushikesh Mahajan, Patricia McGettigan, Allyson M Pollock & Roger Jeffery, ‘Will the new Government introduce an Indian Drugs Bill to deliver rational regulation of safe and effective drugs?’ Economic and Political Weekly, 49, 33: 15-19.

2014: Roger Jeffery: ‘Authorship in multi-disciplinary, multi-national North-South research projects: Issues of equity, capacity and accountability’ Compare 44, 2: 208-29.

Chapters in Edited Books

(In Press) Feyza Bhatti and Roger Jeffery:Confronting Social Inequality through Fertility Change in Punjab, Pakistan: The Role of Girls’ Schooling’ for Madeline Arnot, Pauline Rose, Roger Jeffery & Nidhi Singal (eds) Reforming Education and Challenging Inequalities in Southern contexts : Research and policy in international development, (London: Routledge)

(In Press) Roger Jeffery and Clémence Jullien: ‘Changing Childbirth in 21st Century South Asia’, editorial introduction for Clémence Jullien & Roger Jeffery (eds) Childbearing in South Asia: Old challenges and new paradoxes, (New Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press).

2020: Roger Jeffery: ‘Major Actors in the Health Sector’ in Ali Mehdi & Irudaya Rajan(eds) Health of the Nation: India Health Report (New Delhi: Oxford University Press) 

2020: Roger Jeffery: '‘Medical Education, Inclusiveness, Democracy and Development in Contemporary India’ in  N V Varghese & Madhumita Bandyopadhyay (eds) Education, Democracy and Development:  Equity and Inclusion (New Delhi: NIEPA/Shipra)  

2019: Roger Jeffery: ‘India and women’s medical education in Edinburgh’ in Roger Jeffery (ed.) India in Edinburgh: 1750s to the Present Day (New Delhi, Social Science Press; London & New York, Routledge)

2019: Roger Jeffery & Duncan Money: ‘Edinburgh and India: Entangled Histories’  in India in Edinburgh: 1750s to the Present Day(ed.) Roger Jeffery (New Delhi: Social Science Press; London and New York: Routledge). 

2019: Hauke Wiebe and Roger Jeffery:Edinburgh schools as suppliers of men for India’ in  in India in Edinburgh: 1750s to the Present Day(ed.) Roger Jeffery (New Delhi: Social Science Press; London and New York: Routledge). 

2019: Ian Harper and Roger Jeffery: ‘The Skull Room: Craniological past of Edinburgh and India’ in India in Edinburgh: 1750s to the Present Day, (ed.) Roger Jeffery (New Delhi: Social Science Press; London and New York: Routledge). 

2018: Roger Jeffery: ‘Commercialization in health services in India since 1980: A biographical approach’, pp. 77-96 in Global Governance and Commercialisation of Public Health (eds) Rama Baru & Anuj Kapilashrami (London & New York: Routledge).

2018: Roger Jeffery, Gerard Porter, Amar Jesani, Salla Sariola & Deapica Ravindran: ‘Structure, Organization and Knowledge Production of the Indian Clinical Trials Industry’, pp. 178-201 in Equity and Access: Health Care Studies in India, (eds) Amar Jesani & Purendra Prasad (New Delhi: Oxford University Press).

2018: Roger Jeffery: ‘War against disease without violence to clinical trial participants?’, pp. 222-246 in Violence-Nonviolence across Cultures, (ed.) Sudhir Chandra (New Delhi: Routledge).

2016: Roger Jeffery & Hugo Gorringe: ‘Institutionalising marginal actors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu: Insights from Dalit electoral data'’ in From the Margins to the Mainstream (eds) Hugo Gorringe, Suryakant Waghmore & Roger Jeffery (New Delhi: Sage).

2016: Hugo Gorringe, Suryakant Waghmore & Roger Jeffery, ‘Editorial Introduction’ in From the Margins to the Mainstream (eds) Hugo Gorringe, Suryakant Waghmore & Roger Jeffery (New Delhi: Sage).

2014: Roger Jeffery: ‘The Transformation of India’s Health Systems, c. 1980-c. 2010,’ pp. 58-63 in 2013-2014: Rencontres scientifiques/scholarly activities, (ed.) Samuel Jubé (Nantes: Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Nantes).

Other publications

2020: Roger Jeffery: ‘India’s (Hindutva’s) Responses: Exacerbate inequalities, punish minorities’, REALEURASIA Blog, Das Max-Planck-Institut für ethnologische Forschung, Halle,

2014: Roger Jeffery: 'Perspectives on India’s Social Development', Extended Book Review of Akhil Gupta, Red Tape; Jean Drèze & Amartya Sen, An uncertain glory: India and its contradictions; and Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya, Why Growth Matters', European Journal of Sociology, 55, 3: 464-72.

2014: Roger Jeffery: ‘The future of human rights in India’, Discover Society, September, 2 pp.

Full Publications list 

Topics interested in supervising

I am no longer accepting new graduate students. I am currently supervising PhD students in the following areas: Child waste-pickers and schooling in Delhi; Female Dalit pradhans in Maharashtra; Indigenous knowledge and crop patents in India; Forest management and carbon in North-East India; Environment and migration in rural north India. Recently completed theses include: On-line activism and the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh; Caste and guru pujas in South India; Gendered spaces in Dooars tea gardens; Old age homes in Goa; Fertility change in Pakistan.