Jonathan Harwood

Visiting Scholar (Sep 2021-Oct 2021)


Jonathan Harwood was born in the US (1943) and educated at Wesleyan University. Following a year abroad at the Universität Würzburg, he took his doctorate (molecular biology) at Harvard. Emigrating to the UK in 1970, he studied sociology at Bristol University before moving to the University of Manchester where he taught history and sociology of science and technology, with sabbaticals in Berlin and Cambridge (Mass.), until retiring in 2008.

Although a historian of genetics throughout most of his career, his interests over the last two decades have shifted markedly. He is now best described as a historian of technology with a general interest in the political economy of technical change and a particular interest in agricultural “revolutions” since the nineteenth century in both the global North and South. His most recent book is Europe’s Green Revolution and Others Since: the Rise and Fall of Peasant-Friendly Plant Breeding (London: Routledge, 2016). Since retirement he has worked for the most part as a public historian, publishing critical studies of “the Green Revolution” in journals of development studies and sustainable agriculture.


The Roads not Taken: Neglected Alternatives to Industrial Agriculture in the Global South


Another Green Revolution? Extracting "Lessons" from History


Europe’s Green Revolution: The Rise and Fall of Peasant-Friendly Plant Breeding in Central Europe, 1890–1945


Selected Publications

Harwood, Jonathan (2021). “Coming to Terms with Tropical Ecology: Technology Transfer during the Early Green Revolution.” International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 19 (3–4): 305–318.

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Harwood, Jonathan (2020). “Whatever Happened to the Mexican Green Revolution?” Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems 44 (9): 1243–1252.

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Harwood, Jonathan (2019). “Was the Green Revolution Intended to Maximise Food Production?” International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 17 (4): 312–325.

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Harwood, Jonathan (2019). “Could the Adverse Consequences of the Green Revolution Have Been Foreseen? How Experts Responded to Unwelcome Evidence.” Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems 44 (4): 509–535.…

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Past Events


Humboldts Preußen


The Making of Useful Knowledge


Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

Making an Impact with Policy-Relevant Scholarship

US Think Tanks & Foundations in World Politics: the Nexus of Knowledge & Power

City University (London)