Institute of Development Policy

Honorary Doctorates at IOB

2015 | Melissa Leach

The University of Antwerp’s Institute of Development Management and Policy has also chosen to emphasise sustainability, by nominating Professor Melissa Leach, director of the Institute of Development Studies (UK), as its honorary doctor. Leach has published countless influential articles on the complex interactions between man and nature and played a pioneering role in multidisciplinary research initiatives into sustainability.

Supervisor: Professor Johan Bastiaensen
Masterclass:  Pathways to Sustainability and Green Transformation


2011 | Bina Agarwal

Bina Agarwal holds an MA in Economics from Cambridge (1977) and a PhD in Economics from the University of Delhi (Delhi School of Economics, 1978). She is widely appreciated, in India and beyond, among academic peers, policy-makers and practitioners for her contributions in the area of environment and development; land, livelihoods and property rights; collective action; the political economy of gender.

Prof. Agarwal is the author and editor of various books including amongst others the well-known A Field of One’s Own (1994, Cambridge University Press) on gender and land rights in South Asia as well as the more recent Gender and Green Governance: The Political Economy of Women’s Presence and Beyond Community Forestry (2010, Oxford University Press). Her widely cited academic papers can be read in academic journals such as World Development, Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Peasant Studies, Ecological Economics, Feminist Economics, Journal of Agrarian Change, Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Since 2009 she is the Director of the Institute of Economic Growth at the University of Delhi where she has been teaching economics since 1988. Over time, the radius of her teaching assignments have gradually expanded beyond the Indian setting. She has amongst others been a visiting professor and research fellow at universities in the US and UK, including Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government), New York University (School of Law), MIT, the Universities of Sussex and Reading. Her audience is diversified, including MA, MPhil and PhD students as well as government officials involved in policy and planning. Her writings and teaching have been influential within various policy arenas (government, civil society) and levels (local, national, global).

Besides her contributions in terms of teaching, research and policy advisory work, Prof. Agarwal actively participates in international professional organizations (she is the current president of the International Society for Ecological Economics, she has been before president of the International Association of Feminist Economics, Vice-President of the International Economic Association, etc.), in editorial boards (e.g. Oxford Development Studies, Associate Editor of Feminist Economics and Signs), in UN bodies (United Nations Economic and Social Council, UNDP, FAO), Indian councils and institutions (including the Planning Commission). 

Prof. Agarwal is worldwide highly appreciated for her academic work which is evident from the awards and honours she has received (including the Leontief Prize 2010 granted by the Global Development and Environment Institute of Tufts University and the Honorary Doctorate Institute of Social Sciences, The Hague, 2007). We would like to honour her in particular for her blending of theoretical and analytical rigour/sharpness with methodologically sound empirical work. She has a matchless capacity to frame so-called and often neglected cross-sectional issues of gender and environment in a language which is understandable and appealing, even to audiences which do not necessarily excel in gender or environmental sensitivity. In doing this, she has been effective in forging highly sensitive issues on the mainstream development agenda, both within Indian society as well as internationally.

2005 | Dani Rodrik

Honorary Doctorate for Dani Rodrik In May 2005, the IOB and the University of Antwerp awarded the first honorary doctoral degree in Development Policy and Management to Professor Dani Rodrik, then the Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Prof. Rodrik is a leading expert and critical analyst of the processes of economic growth, economic development, trade policy and globalization.  A central question in his work relates to what constitutes ‘good economic policy’, and why some governments are better in achieving this than others. In his analyses, he often focuses on political economy aspects, in a critical, somewhat heterodox, and creative way, often challenging conventional wisdom. Obviously, on these issues, he has published extensively in top journals such as the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Economic Growth, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Development Economics, and others. His 1997 book Has Globalization Gone Too Far? was called "one of the most important economics books of the decade" in Business Week. He is also the author of One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth (Princeton 2007) and of The New Global Economy and Developing Countries: Making Openness Work (Overseas Development Council, Washington DC, 1999). His most recent book, The Globalization Paradox was published by Norton in 2011.

seminar to IOB staff and students on the determinants of economic growt But as importantly, on these same issues, he also takes great effort in translating his findings to a wider audience, and engages in the public debate, for instance through his regular blogs, or as a regular columnist in the Project Syndicate. And he very much likes to relate to students: the day before the ceremony, he gave a seminar to IOB staff and students on the determinants of economic growth.

Granted, the honorary doctorate was not his first important award. Before that, he received other prestigious awards such as the inaugural Albert O. Hirschman Prize of the Social Science Research Council in 2007 and  the Leontief Award for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. But the University of Antwerp was the first university to grant him an honorary doctorate! Since then, he received another one from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, and more are bound to come.

Very recently, Dani Rodrik moved to Princeton University where he is now the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. See more at this Princeton University homepage: