James Putzel is Professor of Development Studies and served as the Director of the Crisis States Research Centre. He headed the Centre's research programme on Crisis States, which was funded by the Department for International Development of the UK government. From 1996 to 1999, Professor Putzel was a member of the British Academy's Southeast Asia Committee, a Managing Editor of the Journal of Development Studies from September 1999 until January 2001 and remains a member of the editorial board. He was a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Latin American Studies of the University of London between 1999 and 2002. Professor Putzel was Director of D (previously the Development Studies Institute) from January 1999 until August 2001. Before that, he directed the Institute's PhD programme.
Professor Putzel is most well-known for his book, A Captive Land: the Politics of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines (1992). In 1999, he won the Dudley Seers annual prize for his article, 'The Business of Aid: Transparency and Accountability in European Union Development Assistance" (Journal of Development Studies, vol.34). His article, "Accounting for the Dark Side of Social Capital" (Journal of International Development, vol. 9) has had a significant impact on recent development debates, as has his co-authored paper with Mick Moore, 'Thinking Strategically About Politics and Poverty' (IDS, 2000). His recent research and publications range from work on the politics of financial crisis, to work on nationalism, comparative politics of development in Southeast and East Asia, democratic transition, developmental states, and the role of foreign aid and NGOs in development, with a particular focus on problems of institutional change. His current research is focusing on politics and governance in crisis states including work on Understanding 'Failed States', Political Islam in Southeast Asia and the Politics of the HIV/AIDS crisis.
Professor Putzel received his BA in Honours East Asian Studies and MA in Political Science from McGill University. He received his DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford. In the late 1980s he was a Visiting Senior Lecturer in Political Science and a Visiting Research Associate at the School of Economics at the University of the Philippines. He has extensive experience in consultancy work for development oriented non-governmental, government and multilateral development organisations.