Dr Polly Wilding

Dr Polly Wilding


A Latin American specialist, I am interested in how we theorise and understand practices of violence, and its reproduction. I have researched how the threat and reality of violence impact on the rights and everyday experiences of marginalised groups who live with consistently high levels of insecurity. In particular, I am interested in how violence reproduced gendered inequalities and power imbalances.

In the past, I  have worked with NGOs in Latin America that focus on domestic and urban violence, as well as Northern-based NGOs that work with solidarity models of development assistance.

In 2016 I was appointed as the Discovery Theme Leader for Power and Conflict, bringing together modules, students and lecturers with interests in this area from across the University. To find out more visit: https://leedsforlife.leeds.ac.uk/Broadening/Theme/11


  • Discovery Theme Leader for Power and Conflict
  • White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership Deputy Director: Civil Society, Development and Democracy

Research interests

My main areas of interest are the gendered intersections between different forms of violence that affect urban communities, in particular the linkages between urban and private violence, in the context of Latin America. I am interested in how the issue of violence interacts with a range of gender issues, including poverty, social exclusion, and access to services.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

My teaching focuses primarily on incorporating a critical gender ‘lens’ to development theory and practice. I employ a range of interactive methods in order to facilitate student engagement with the academic literature, as well as reflecting critically on a range of information sources, including digital media, film and international news sources. At undergraduate level, I run the Level 3 module, Gender and Violence, which looks at the gendered dynamics and reproduction of violence and conflict. At Master’s level, I teach Gender, Globalisation and Development, which unpacks various development issues from a gender perspective, analysing the gendered causes and consequences of uneven development. I also contribute to lectures and seminars to some of the team taught modules, including the Masters level Global Inequalities module.

I also convene a Level One blended module, which introduces a wide range of case studies from around the world to introduce the way power and conflict are understood and researched in a number of disciplines, including history, sociology, performance, geography and cultural studies, among others. Academics and researchers from around the University provide insights on how they apply the concepts of power and conflict in their specialist case studies, and how relations, processes, and structures of power and conflict shape the world we live in: http://leedsforlife.leeds.ac.uk/broadening/module/PIED1551

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Global Development
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>