FAcSS, FHEA, BSc, MSC, PhD, Pg Cert ED

Chair in Education
Research Fellow


Contact Details

The University of Aberdeen Room 517
University of Aberdeen
MacRobert Building 
King's College
AB24 3FX


I am a professor in the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen and Director of the Centre for Global Development. I am also a member of the Centre for Civil Society and the Rule of Law and the New Europe Centre.

My main reseach interests are in gender, quality of life and social quality, and social, economic and political transfromations. I have carried out reseach in the UK, the European Union, the former Soviet Union, East Africa and the Middle East and North Africa. I am author (with Claire Wallace and Melissa Taylor) of the best selling text An Introduction to Sociology: Femminist Perspectives (3rd editon 2005). Routledge. My most recent book (with Andrea Teti and Francesco Cavatorta) The Arab Uprisings in Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia: Social, Economic and Political Transfromations in the Arab World. Palgrave Macmillian,  was published in January 2018.  My work has been published in English, French, Swedish, Polish, Korean and Chinese. 

I am currently writting up for publication, with Andrea Teti,  the findings from the Arab Transformations Project funded under the EU's Framework Programme 7 (€2.49m, SSH-2012, grant number 320214, 2012-16). I am directing the Fostering a Social Practice Approach to Adult Literacies for Improving People’s Quality of Life in Western Rwanda project funded under the Scottish Government's Scotland Rwanda Programme  (£1.2m, 2017-22). With Lucia D'Ambruoso I am working on a project Fostering Support for Child And Family Wellbeing - Learning from International Experience, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  I am also  working on an ESRC funded project with Professor  Claire Wallace on Growing up and Growing Older in  Aberdeen and a University of Aberdeen funded project with Professor George Youngson The Social Impact of a Specialist Paediatric Surgical Service in Rwanda : A Qualitative Evaluation of the Effects on Child, Family and Community.


Research Interests

I am Direcor of the Centre for Global Development and a member of the Centre for Civil Society and the Rule of Law.

My main research interests are in gender and social quality and quality of life and I have expertise in both qualitative and quantitative social reseach methods. I have carried out reseach in the UK and Europe, the former Soviet Union, East Africa and the Middle East and North Africa.

Current Research

I am currently working on four reseach projects: with Dr Andrea Teti (Politics and International Relations) I am writting up the findings from EU funded Arab Transfromations project looking at social. political and economic change in the Arab World since the 2011 Uprisings;  with Professor Claire Wallace (Sociology)  I am reseaching the life histories of Aberdeanonians born in the 1950s;  with Professor George Youngson I am reseaching the experiences of parents whose children undergo pediatric surgery in Rwanda; and with Drs Aileen  Ackland and Peter Mkita (Education) I am  implementing a project on a social preatice to literacies approach in Rwanda. 

Research Grants

I am currently the Principal Investigator on  the Fostering a social practice approach to adult literacies for improving people’s quality of life in Western Rwanda project funded by the Scottish Government 2017-2022.


Teaching Responsibilities

I currently teach on the 6th Century Course:  Africa:  Sustainable Development for All. I also surpervise PhD students.  



Currently viewing:

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  • Abbott, P 2019, 'Ben Ali: the Tunisian autocrat who laid the foundations for his demise', The Conversation.
  • Teti, A, Abbott, P & Cavatorta, F 2019, 'Beyond elections: perceptions of democracy in four Arab countries ', Democratization, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 645-665. [Online] DOI:
  • Sapsford, R, Tsourapas, G, Abbott, PA & Teti, A 2019, 'Corruption, Trust, Inclusion and Cohesion in North Africa and the Middle East', Applied Research in Quality of Life, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 1-21. [Online] DOI:
  • Teti, A, Abbott, PA, Talbot, V & Maggiolini, P 2020, Democratisation against Democracy: How the EU Fails the Middle East. The European Union in International Affairs, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Abbott, P & Sapsford, R 2019, Marginalization. in D Gu & ME Dupre (eds), Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging. Springer .
  • Abbott, P, Teti, A & Sapsford, R 2019, 'Tunisians head for the polls amid dimming faith in democracy', The Conversation.
  • Abbott, P 2018, #OURTIMENOW: Improving Women's Lives in Rwanda Through Education. The Fawcett Society, London.
  • Abbott, P 2018, 'Al-Sisi set for empty victory in Egypt as signs of unrest grow across the region', The Conversation.
  • Heckle, R, Smith, P, Macdiarmid, J, Campbell, E & Abbott, P 2018, 'Beekeeping adoption: A case study of three smallholder farming communities in Baringo County, Kenya', Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics, vol. 119, no. 1, pp. 1-11.
  • Abbott, P & D'Ambruoso, L 2018, Challenges and Opportunities for Increased Policy Recognition of Family and Child Health and Wellbeing within the USA and Internationally. University of Aberdeen and Training and Research Support Centre.
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