Dr. Andrew M. Fischer is Associate Professor of Social Policy and Development Studies at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), and laureate of the European Research Council Starting Grant, which he won in the 2014 round. He is also the founding editor of the book series of the UK and Ireland Development Studies Association, published by Oxford University Press, entitled Critical Frontiers of International Development Studies, and editor at the journal Development and Change. His forthcoming book, Poverty as Ideology, won the 2015 International Studies in Poverty Prize, awarded by the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP).
Dr. Fischer’s research and teaching are centrally concerned with the role of redistribution in development at local, regional and global scales. He examines this with respect to three strands: financial and fiscal processes; social policy (as one of the principle policy areas where redistribution is enacted at national scales); and productive development policy. These three strands are represented, for instance, by his current ERC Starting Grant is on “The Political Economy of Externally Financing Social Policy in Developing Countries,” which focuses on the emerging social protection agenda among donors in seven countries (Ecuador, Paraguay, Ethiopia, Ghana, Zambia, Cambodia and Philippines). His earlier work on the impact of Chinese regional development policies in the Tibetan areas of Western China (encompassing five provinces) also examined regional redistribution at a sub-national scale, in particular with respect to some of the dark sides of redistribution, and is well known for its critical engagement with concepts of social exclusion and marginalisation.
At ISS, Dr. Fischer led the establishment of the MA major in Social Policy for Development, which he convened from 2012 to 2014. He also convened the specialisation in Poverty Studies and Policy Analysis from 2009 to 2012. He has worked with and advised various multilateral agencies and NGOs, including UNRISD, UNW, UNDP, UNICEF, UNECOSOC, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, and he has been involved in development studies or working in developing countries for 30 years, including seven years living and working in India and Nepal prior to his PhD at the London School of Economics.