Ngaire Woods

Ngaire Woods

Dean of the School

Professor Ngaire Woods is the founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance at Oxford University. Her research focuses on how to enhance the governance of organisations, the challenges of globalisation, global development, and the role of international institutions and global economic governance. She founded the Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford University, and co-founded (with Robert O. Keohane) the Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellowship programme. She led the creation of the Blavatnik School of Government.

Ngaire Woods serves as a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s International Advisory Panel, and on the Boards of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the Stephen A. Schwarzman Education Foundation. She is an Independent Non-Executive Director at Rio Tinto (effective September 2020). She sits on the advisory boards of the Centre for Global Development, the African Leadership Institute, the School of Management and Public Policy at Tsinghua University, and the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy at Cape Town University. She is Chair of the Harvard University Visiting Committee on International Engagement and a member of the Department for International Trade’s Trade and Economy Panel. She is also an honorary governor of the Ditchley Foundation and is co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Frontier Risks.

Previously, she served as a Non-Executive Director on the Arup Global Group Board and on the Board of the Center for International Governance Innovation. From 2016-2018, she was Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Values, Technology and Governance.She has also served as a member of the IMF European Regional Advisory Group, and as an Advisor to the IMF Board, to the Government of Oman’s Vision 2040, to the African Development Bank, to the UNDP’s Human Development Report, and to the Commonwealth Heads of Government.

Ngaire Woods has published extensively on international institutions, the global economy, globalization, and governance, including the following books: The Politics of Global Regulation (with Walter Mattli, Oxford University Press, 2009), Networks of Influence? Developing Countries in a Networked Global Order (with Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, Oxford University Press, 2009), The Globalizers: the IMF, the World Bank and their Borrowers (Cornell University Press, 2006), Exporting Good Governance: Temptations and Challenges in Canada’s Aid Program (with Jennifer Welsh, Laurier University Press, 2007), and Making Self-Regulation Effective in Developing Countries (with Dana Brown, Oxford University Press, 2007). She has previously published The Political Economy of Globalization (Macmillan, 2000), Inequality, Globalization and World Politics (with Andrew Hurrell: Oxford University Press, 1999), Explaining International Relations since 1945 (Oxford University Press, 1986). She has published numerous articles on international institutions, globalization, and governance. She has also presented numerous documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and BBC TV2.

She was educated at Auckland University (BA in economics, LLB Hons in law). She studied at Balliol College, Oxford as a New Zealand Rhodes Scholar, completing an MPhil (with Distinction) and then DPhil (in 1992) in International Relations. She won a Junior Research Fellowship at New College, Oxford (1990-1992) and subsequently taught at Harvard University (Government Department) before taking up her Fellowship at University College, Oxford and academic roles at Oxford University.

Ngaire Woods was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2018 New Year's Honours for services to Higher Education and Public Policy. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.




The Politics of Global Regulation (with Walter Mattli), Princeton University Press, 2009.

Networks of Influence (with Leonardo Martinez), Oxford University Press, 2009.

Making Self-Regulation Effective in Developing Countries (with Dana Brown), Oxford University Press, 2007.

Exporting Good Governance (with Jennifer Welsh), Wilfred de Laurier University Press, 2007.

The Globalizers: the IMF, the World Bank and their Borrowers (Cornell University Press, 2006) (and also published by the India Research Press, New Delhi 2007), selected by Choice Magazine 2006 Outstanding Academic Title, and shortlisted (with 4 others) for the International Political Economy Group (IPEG) Book Prize 2007 of the British International Studies Association (BISA);

The Political Economy of Globalization (Macmillan Palgrave, 2000) (main contributor and editor)

Inequality and World Politics (Oxford University Press, 1999) (co-editor with Dr Andrew Hurrell and contributor)

Explaining International Relations since 1945 (Oxford University Press, 1996) (editor and contributor)

Selected papers

(for updated list contact

Global Governance of AMR (with Connor Rochford, Devi Sridhar et al), The Lancet, Volume 391, No. 10134, p1976–1978, 19 May 2018

Theorizing the role of executive heads in international organizations (with Nina Hall), European Journal of
International Relations
, Vol. 24(4), p865–886, 30 November 2017

'The IMF's Unmet Challenges' (with Barry Eichengreen), Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 30, no. 1, Winter 2016. (pp. 29-52).

'Transforming Global Governance for the 21st Century' (with Alexander Betts, Jochen Prantl and Devi Sridhar), UNDP Occasional Paper 2013/09, UN, New York. 

Global Governance after the Financial Crisis: A New Multilateralism or the Last Gasp of the Great Powers?Global Policy, Vol.1, Issue 1, Pages 51 - 63 (2010).

'Governing Climate Change: Lessons from other Governance Regimes' (with Arunabha Ghosh) in Cameron Hepburn and Dieter Helm, The Economics and Politics of Climate Change (Oxford University Press, 2010).

'Developing Country Concerns about Climate Finance Proposals: Priorities, Trust, and the Credible Donor Problem' (with Arunabha Ghosh) in Richard Stewart, Benedict Kingsbury et al, Climate Finance: Regulatory and Funding Strategies for Climate Change and Global Development (New York : New York University Press : New York University Abu Dhabi Institute, 2009)

‘The politics of influence: an analysis of IMF surveillance’, Review of International Political Economy 15:5 December 2008: 709-737.

‘Whose aid? Whose influence? China, emerging donors and the silent revolution in development assistance’, International Affairs Vol 84, No.6, November 2008 pp.1205-1221.

‘A Commonwealth Initiative to Support Reform in the IMF and World Bank’, prepared for (and presented to) the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on Reform of International Institutions (London, 9-10 June 2008), published by the Commonwealth Secretariat (2008).

‘From intervention to cooperation: reforming the IMF and World Bank’, prepared for (and presented to) the Progressive Leaders’ Governance Conference, London 2008, published by Policy Network (2008).

'The changing politics of aid’, chapter one in Exporting Good Governance (with Jennifer Welsh), Wilfred de Laurier University Press, 2007.

'The Political Economy of IMF Surveillance’ (with Domenico Lombardi), CIGI Working Paper, January 2007.

'Multilateralism and building stronger international institutions’, Chapter 2 of Ebrahim, Alnoor and Edward Weisband (eds). Forging Global Accountabilities: Participation, Pluralism, and Public Ethics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 2007. ·

'Understanding Pathways through Financial Crises’, Global Governance, Volume 12, No.4, 2006 (October-December). ·

'Bretton Woods Institutions’, chapter 13 of Thomas G. Weiss and Sam Daws (eds), Oxford Handbook of The United Nations (Oxford University Press, 2007).

'Who needs more coordination? The United Nations and Development Assistance’ (with Nilima Gulrajani and Sarah Mulley), Journal of International Law and International Relations,Vol.2 (1), 2006.

'Uneven patterns of governance: how developing countries are represented in the IMF’ (with Domenico Lombardi), Review of International Political Economy, Volume 13, Number 3 (August 2006).

'Making Corporate Self-Regulation Effective in Developing Countries’ (with David Graham), World Development (May 2006), Vol. 34, No. 5.

'The Shifting Politics of Aid’, International Affairs (March 2005). 

'The Role of Parliaments in Holding the IMF to Account’ (with Andrew Eggers and Ann Florini) in Barry Carin and Angela Wood, Making the IMF Accountable (Edward Elgar, forthcoming).

'Groupthink, the IMF, the World Bank and Decision Making About the 1994 Mexican Crisis’, chapter 13 of Bob Reinalda and Bertjan Verbeek, Decision-Making in International Organizations (Routledge 2003).

‘Held to Account: Inter-Governmental Institutions in the World Economy', Ethics and International Affairs Vol.17, No.1, (Spring 2003): 69-80; subsequently reprinted with permission in Global Responsibilities: Securing Rights by Defining Obligations edited by Andrew Kuper (Routledge 2005).

'The United States and the International Financial Institutions’ in Rosemary Foot, Neil MacFarlane and Michael Mastanduno, US Hegemony and International Organizations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

'Order, Justice, the IMF and the World Bank’ in Rosemary Foot, John Gaddis, and Andrew Hurrell (eds), Order and Justice in World Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

‘The Bretton Woods Institutions and Mexico’ in Rosemary Thorp and Valpy Fitzgerald, Economic Doctrines in Latin America: their Evolution, Transmission and Power (2003). 

'Sectoral Coalitions: the Case of Services’ in Diana Tussie (ed), Trade Negotiations in Latin America: Problems and Prospects (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2003):32-48.

‘Globalization and the Role of International Institutions’, chapter one in Anthony McGrew and David Held (eds), Governing Globalization: Power, Authority, and Global Governance (Polity Press, 2002):25-45.

‘Global Economic Governance and Accountability: the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank’ (with Amrita Narlikar), International Social Science Journal, No.170 (2001).

'Who Should Govern the World Economy?’, Renewal, Vol.9, No.2/3 (2001):73-82.

‘Making the IMF and the World Bank More Accountable’, International Affairs Vol.77, No.1 (January 2001).

‘Russia and the Failure of the Free Market’, in Jeff Madrick (ed), Unconventional Wisdom: Alternative Perspectives in the New Economy (New York: The Century Foundation, 2000).

‘Trade, Regionalism and the Threat to Multilateralism’ (with Diana Tussie), Latin-American Trade Network, Working Papers No.6 (2000) and also in Woods, The Political Economy of Globalization.

‘The Challenges of Multilateralism and Governance’, in Chris Gilbert and David Vines, The World Bank: Policies and Structure (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

'Order, Globalization and World Politics’, in David Held and Anthony McGrew, The Global Transformations Reader: An Introduction to the Globalization Debate (Cambridge: Polity Press, forthcoming), Part V, Chapter 7.

‘The Challenge of Good Governance for the IMF and the World Bank Themselves’, World Development Vol.28, No.5 (May 2000), reprinted in Peter Burnell and Oliver Morrissey, Foreign Aid in the New Global Economy (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2003).

‘The IMF and Russia’ (with Nigel Gould-Davies), International Affairs Vol.75, No.1 (1999):23-42.

'Good Governance in International Organizations’, Global Governance Vol.5, No.1 (Jan-March 1999).

‘Globalization: Definitions, Debates and Implications’, Oxford Development Studies: Special Issue on Globalization, Vol.26, No.1 (January, 1998) Special Issue on Globalization (as Guest-Editor of the special issue).

‘Converging Challenges and Diverging Identities: New Zealand Seen Through a Crack in the Wall’, in Robert Patman (ed), A Special Relationship in Transition (Dunmore Press, 1998).

'Governance in International Organizations: The Case for Reform in the Bretton Woods Institutions’, International Monetary and Financial Issues for the 1990s, Volume IX (UNCTAD, 1998).

‘United States Development Assistance Policy’ (Review), The Journal of Development Studies, Vol.33, No.5 (June 1997):718-719.

‘The Role of Economic Ideas in International Relations: Beyond Rational Neglect’, International Studies Quarterly (June 1995), Vol.39.

'Inequality and Globalization’ (with Andrew Hurrell), Millenium (December 1995), subsequently reprinted in Richard Higgott (ed), The New Political Economy of Globalization (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2000) and in Jane Kelsey (ed), International Economic Regulation (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2002).

‘The Uses of Theory in International Relations’, in Explaining International Relations since 1945 (Oxford University Press, 1996).

‘The Mexican Rescue, 1995’, in The Post-NAFTA Political Economy: Mexico and the Western Hemisphere edited collection by Carol Wise (Pennsylvania University Press, 1998):148-170.

‘Rethinking International Relations’, The Round Table: Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs (December 1995).

‘A Third World Voice within the IMF?’, The Round Table: Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, No.314 (April 1990).