Woods, Ngaire

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Woods, Ngaire


Education: Auckland University, B.A., LL.B. (with honors); Balliol College, Oxford, M.Phil., D.Phil.


Office—Global Economic Governance Programme, University College, University of Oxford, High St., Oxford OX1 4BH, England; Department of Politics and International Relations, University College, University College, Manor Rd., Oxford OX1 3UQ, England.


Writer and educator. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, lecturer; University College, University College, Oxford, England, professor of international political economy, 1992—, director of the Global Economic Governance Programme, 1992—. Center for Global Development, member, 2003—; Center for International Governance Innovation, advisory board member, 2003—; Ditchley Foundation, governor, 2003—; Overseas Development Institute, member, 2004—; Davos Faculty, member, 2006-07.


New College, Oxford, junior research fellow, 1990-92; University College, Oxford, fellow.


Explaining International Relations since 1945, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1996.

(Editor, with Andrew Hurrell) Inequality, Globalization, and World Politics, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1999.

(Editor) The Political Economy of Globalization, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

The Globalizers: The IMF, the World Bank, and Their Borrowers, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2006.

(Editor, with Jennifer Welch) Exporting Good Governance: Temptations and Challenges in Canada's Aid Program, Wilfrid Laurier University Press (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), 2007.

(Editor, with Dana L. Brown) Making Global Self-Regulation Effective in Developing Countries, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of essays and articles to periodicals, including Round Table: Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Oxford International Review, Journal of Development Studies, International Social Science Journal, and International Studies Quarterly.


Ngaire Woods specializes in the study of economic institutions and their roles within the infrastructure of developing countries, and on the impact of developing countries on the global economy. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at Oxford's University College, she serves as director of Oxford's Global Economic Governance Programme. She also has participated in the World Economic Forum and has lent her expertise to international board panels for the Overseas Development Institute and the Center for Global Development.

The majority of Woods's writings explores the political and economic situations of diverse global regions with additional consideration paid to the representative populace. Accordingly, in the construction of its unifying thesis, observed Bill Dunn in his Political Geography contribution, The Political Economy of Globalization seeks a consensus between form and substance in which essays detailing economy, trade, and foreign investments segue into commentaries regarding international politics, institutions, and particular populations. Dunn noted that an essay by Jan Aart Scholte, in which national identity and globalization are placed in relation with one another, serves as the link between the two distinct halves of this text. Dunn also acknowledged Woods's editorial efforts and claimed that she "considers the different political and economic aspects of globalization to be complementary." The text, "taken for its parts … remains a useful introductory volume," concluded Dunn. Moreover, T.T. Sreekumar, in an article for Development and Change, stated that the text is "a worthwhile addition to the literature and serves an important purpose of identifying and analysing some crucial facets of globalization that have a bearing on global economy and politics, albeit from a northern perspective." Sreekumar pointed out that Woods asserts "a measured scepticism as an alternative to competing perspectives," and the resulting compendium illustrates her mediating tactics in compiling these varied observations regarding globalization and its effects. "Based on an informed reading of contemporary geo-political transformation and the actors and structures that define it," stated Sreekumar, "the essays in this volume manifest a remarkable ability of abstraction and assimilation."

The Globalizers: The IMF, the World Bank, and Their Borrowers, published in 2006, focuses on financial institutions, particularly the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and their constituents. As Aaron Ettinger explained in a review for the International Journal, Woods scrutinizes measures taken by the IMF and the World Bank that make clear "their respective transitions from mediators of international financial and economic cooperation to champions of globalization." As Woods covers the political history that enabled contemporary lending practices, including the formation of the IMF and World Bank following World War II, her text reveals the international scope of these entities' business dealings, which makes for a representative microcosm of the evolution of the global market and the resulting consequences for developing economies. Ettinger found that "Woods' thorough analysis uncovers a pattern that characterizes IMF and World Bank lending practices, speaking volumes about the normative assumptions of politicians and technocrats in Washington," and that "in each case, conditionality was predicated upon the supposition that real-world conditions in borrowing countries were conducive to neoliberal economic reform." In a review for the Journal of Economic Issues, Cecilia Ann Winters suggested that, rather than placing the IMF and World Bank in a wholly negative context, Woods shows that "these institutions have served to integrate many countries into the world economy by requiring that they open their borders to global trade, investment, and capital. However, she observes, the disconnect between the stated goals and the facts is striking." Furthermore, Joseph P. Joyce, in an essay for Ethics & International Affairs, called the text "most timely and welcome," taking into consideration relatively recent economic developments such as China's fiscal ascendance, stabilization in the Asian markets, and questionable successive leadership. Woods does not neglect to offer several plausible solutions, and, as Joyce added, "Woods proposes six institutional reforms: (1) a rebalancing of the payments made to support the institutions by their members; (2) new voting schemes to give countries with smaller quotas more voice; (3) publications of the transcripts of the two executive boards; (4) reports by executive directors to the national legislatures of the governments that choose them; (5) a more representative leadership selection process; and (6) incentives for staff members to consider the long-term goals and needs of the member countries." In conclusion, Joyce called the text "thorough" and "constructive."



Australian Journal of Political Science, November 1, 2001, Martin Griffiths, review of Inequality, Globalization, and World Politics, p. 583.

Challenge, May 1, 2006, "Reforming the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank," p. 5.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, April 1, 1997, review of Explaining International Relations since 1945, p. 1413; November 1, 2006, C. Kilby, review of The Globalizers: The IMF, the World Bank, and Their Borrowers, p. 534.

Development and Change, April 1, 2002, T.T. Sreekumar, review of The Political Economy of Globalization, p. 361.

Ethics & International Affairs, December 22, 2007, Joseph P. Joyce, review of The Globalizers, p. 485.

International Affairs, January 1, 1997, Richard Crockatt, review of Explaining International Relations since 1945, p. 151; October 1, 2000, Patrick Hirst, review of Inequality, Globalization, and World Politics, p. 869; January 1, 2001, Alan M. Rugman, review of The Political Economy of Globalization, p. 200.

International History Review, June 1, 2007, D.E. Moggridge, review of The Globalizers, p. 460.

International Journal, June 22, 2007, Aaron Ettinger, review of The Globalizers, p. 728.

Journal of Economic Issues, September 1, 2007, Cecilia Ann Winters, review of The Globalizers, p. 900.

Journal of Economic Literature, March 1, 2001, Arthur MacEwan, review of The Political Economy of Globalization, p. 164.

Library Journal, June 15, 2006, Lawrence R. Maxted, review of The Globalizers, p. 80.

Political Geography, June 1, 2001, Bill Dunn, review of The Political Economy of Globalization, p. 669.

Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 2000, review of The Political Economy of Globalization, p. 80; February 1, 2008, "Exporting Good Governance; Temptations and Challenges in Canada's Aid Program."

Times Higher Education Supplement, November 24, 2000, Rob Jenkins, review of The Political Economy of Globalization, p. 8.


Center for International Governance Innovation Web site,http://www.cigionline.org/ (August 11, 2008), faculty profile.

Global Economic Governance Programme Web site,http://www.globaleconomicgovernance.org/ (August 11, 2008), faculty profile.

University of Oxford Politics and International Relations Department Web site,http://www.politics.ox.ac.uk/ (March 20, 2008), faculty profile.

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