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Sociology: People


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

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 2005 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 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 was PI or Co-I in six projects completed since 2010:

(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), Hugo Gorringe as Principal Investigator, for two years from January 2012; 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, for two years ending in January 2014; more details here.

(4) 'Access to Medicines in Africa and South Asia (AMASA)', (EU FP7) ending in 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.

(6) 'Educational Outcomes and Poverty in India, Pakistan, Kenya and Ghana' (DFID Research Programme Consortium, led by Professor Christopher Colclough (University of Cambridge), ending in December 2010; more details here. As part of this research programme, we developed an on-line facilitator's manual for training in qualitative research methods, accessible here

Other activities since 2010:

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): Roger Jeffery (ed.) India in Edinburgh: How the Empire affected Scotland’s Capital (New Delhi, Social Science Press)

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

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) Roger Jeffery: ‘India and women’s medical education in Edinburgh’ in Roger Jeffery (ed.) India in Edinburgh: How the Empire affected Scotland’s Capital, (New Delhi, Social Science Press)

(In press) Roger Jeffery & Duncan Money: ‘Edinburgh and India: Entangled Histories’  in India in Edinburgh: How the Empire affected Scotland’s Capital(ed.) Roger Jeffery (Social Science Press, New Delhi). 

(In press) Hauke Wiebe and Roger Jeffery:Edinburgh schools as suppliers of men for India’ in  in India in Edinburgh: How the Empire affected Scotland’s Capital(ed.) Roger Jeffery (Social Science Press, New Delhi). 

(In press) Ian Harper and Roger Jeffery: ‘The Skull Room: Craniological past of Edinburgh and India’ in India in Edinburgh: How the Empire affected Scotland’s Capital, (ed.) Roger Jeffery (Social Science Press, New Delhi). 

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 (Routledge, UK).

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 (Oxford University Press, India).

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

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 (Sage, New Delhi).

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

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 (Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Nantes, Nantes).

Other publications

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 now accepting very few 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; nationalist politics in 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.

If you are interested in being supervised by Roger Jeffery, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in South Asian Studies; PhD in Sociology