Current research interests include:

  • the politics of the body, with a particular interest in mobilization on sexual and reproductive rights;
  • new democratic institutions and the potential and practice of radical democracy in non-western settings;
  • states of citizenship - understanding everyday practices of citizenship in different kinds of states;
  • rethinking 'gender' in development, including in relation to work with/on men and masculinities;
  • development's colonial continuities.
I am involved in a number of international collaborative research programmes. I direct a DFID-funded Research Programme Consortium Pathways of Women's Empowerment, which carries out collaborative research and communications on issues of body, voice and work in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine and Sierra Leone. I am also a member of the Citizenship Development Research Centre and the IDS Sexuality and Development Programme

In my work on development, I've published articles on development buzzwords, deliberative democracy, participation, citizen involvement in health policy, men and masculinities, gender and development, gender and participatory development, and sexuality and development

Articles drawing on my anthropological research include 'Taking Chances, Making Choices: The Tactical Dimensions of “Reproductive Strategies" in Southwestern Nigeria' (Medical Anthropology, 2007),  'Of choice, chance and contingency: Career strategies and tactics for survival among Yoruba women traders' (Social Anthropology, 2007), 'Spending Power: Love, Money and the Reconfiguration of Gender Relations in Ado-Odo, SW Nigeria' (American Ethnologist, 2002). 

I've also written articles for various online news sites and blogs on a range of issues including democracy, empowerment and participatory governance

Recent books include Negotiating Empowerment (co-edited with Jenny Edwards, IDS Bulletin, 2010), Democratizing Engagement: What the UK Can Learn from International Experience (Demos, 2009), Development with a Body: Sexuality, Human Rights and Development (co-edited with Sonia Correa and Susie Jolly, Zed Books, 2008), The Politics of Rights: Dilemmas for Feminist Praxis (co-edited with Maxine Molyneux, Routledge, 2008), Gender Myths and Feminist Fables: Struggles for Interpretive Power in Gender and Development (co-edited with Elizabeth Harrison and Ann Whitehead, Blackwell, 2008). 

I'm also co-author of a truer-than-fiction account of life inside an aid bureaucracy The Beast of Bureaucracy: Tales from Valhalla.