Gordon Johnson


Gordon Johnson was President of Wolfson College Cambridge (1993-2010); Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge; and Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust. He is the General Editor of the New Cambridge History of India, and was the editor of Modern Asian Studies, one of the most highly regarded journals in the field. He is the author of Provincial Politics and Indian Nationalism (1973) and A Cultural Atlas of India (1995). He is currently the President of the Royal Asiatic Society.

What does Integrity Action mean to me?

"Fredrik. Why? -because I found him an interesting student at Wolfson, and I’m sympathetic to what he is trying to do. I favour on the whole the Bauer view of overseas aid - that it’s a contribution by poor people in rich countries to improve the bank balances of rich people in poor countries. It’s important, therefore, that money and resources designed to help meet challenges do get deployed in an effective way. What struck me about Fredrik’s approach was that it is non-judgemental when it comes to corruption, is non-patronising when it comes to giving advice, and that it recognises nothing can be done without an understanding of local circumstances and without involving local participation in leadership roles. It was thought, back in 2010, that my interests and networks in higher education, and my academic interests in Asia, would be of value to the organisation; though in fact, as things have evolved (very satisfactorily with the appointment of new trustees and stronger focus in particular areas of more analytical work) higher educational institutions and courses and examining procedures have come to occupy a much less central place in Integrity Action’s strategy than they once did." - December 2015