My research interests include changes to land and resource uses and what these mean to rural populations in the Global South. My analysis of these large-scale resource projects has often explored the intersection of the natural resource base with the way that the politics of knowledge work to frame such problems and shape them into particular, often technical, solutions. Much of my work has been carried out together with different activist groups where we jointly explore and learn about complex problems and what can be done to accomplish positive change in rapidly unfolding and uncertain situations.
I am the coordinator of the following courses:
- The Process of Research: Methods, Data Analysis and Scientific Writing
Coal Conflicts: The Continued Attraction of Coal for Energy Generation and Development in India supported 2014-18 by Formas and SIDA
This project investigates how coal has come to be seen as the solution necessary to support continued Indian economic development despite creating well-acknowledged local damage via mass displacement of livelihoods and disrupture of cultures across central India’s main coal-bearing regions and increasingly also internationally including in Mozambique where a range of Indian companies are mining for coal to be brought back to India. The burning of coal as a significant source of global environmental change is also accepted by Indian authorities and companies but seen as less severe, and crucially also not the responsibility of the country as a late industrialiser, compared to the present crisis in energy provision which at times paralyses urban life through the country as well as threatening both industrial and agricultural expansions.
This project carried out together with Dr Devanshi Chanchani examines the conditions which enable citizens to become actively engaged in pollution control for improved environmental health. It does this by enabling research participants to monitor household air pollution levels for a better understanding of local sources of pollution and personal exposure. Low cost pollution monitors offer new possibilities for people to link personal health effects directly to pollution. The resulting improved knowledge of what pollution is and where it comes from is expected to support community mobilisation to mitigate pollution. This project draws on citizen science approaches to environmental governance to open up for participatory environmental management. Three empirical settings are selected as case studies across India with a combination of urban, industrial and rural forms of pollution and socio-political settings. Data collection methods are air pollution measurements, an environmental health survey and ethnographic methods. The project is expected to add to our understanding of the factors which support citizens becoming active in pollution control and management activities. Active citizens are expected to be able to press for wide-ranging public health improvements, and open up for participatory decision-making processes on environmental matters at the moment dealt with in closed, expert-controlled settings with significant political interventions.
Second supervisor to PhD student Arvid Stiernström
Publikationer i urval
Forthcoming. (with Siddharth Sareen) Understanding adivasiness as caste expression and land rights claim in central-eastern India. Journal of Contemporary Asia.
Oskarsson, P., Lahiri-Dutt, K., & Wennström, P. (Forthcoming). From incremental dispossession to a cumulative land grab: Understanding territorial transformation in India’s North Karanpura coalfield. Development and Change.
Oskarsson, P., & Kindo, N. (2019). Coal trafficking: Reworking national energy security via coal transport at the North Karanpura Coalfields, India. In R. J. Pijpers & T. H. Eriksen (Eds.), Mining Encounters: Extractive Industries in an overheated world (pp. 121–137). Oslo: Pluto Press.
Oskarsson, P., & Lahiri-Dutt, K. (2018). India’s resource (inter)nationalism: Overseas mining investments shaped by domestic conditions. The Extractive Industries and Society. Online First.
2018. Landlock: Paralysing dispute over minerals on adivasi land in India (free download), Canberra: Australian National University E Press.
2018. (with Heather P. Bedi). Extracting environmental justice: Countering technical renditions of pollution in India’s coal industry. The Extractive Industries and Society, 5(3), 340–347.
2017. Diverging discourses on bauxite mining in eastern India: Life-supporting hills for adivasis or national treasure chests on barren lands? Society & Natural Resources, 30(8), 994–1008.
2017. Producing ‘So-So’ Infrastructure at the North Karanpura Coalfields in Eastern India for National Energy Security. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies.
2017. (with Siddharth Sareen) Enduring Discourses and Everyday Contestation: Introduction to Special Section on Discourse and Resource Conflict in Extractive Zones of India, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies.
2017. (with Alin Kadfak) The shifting sands of land governance in peri-urban Mangaluru, India: Fluctuating land as an ‘informality machine’ reinforcing rapid coastal transformations. Contemporary South Asia.
2017. Community Resource Mapping in Support of Local Land Tenure?: Results from an Exploratory Study at Gandhamardhan Hill in Eastern India. The Journal of Adivasi and Indigenous Studies, 7(2), 15–32.
2017. (editor with Kenneth Boo Nielsen). Industrialising Rural India: Land, Policy, Resistance. London: Routledge.
2017. The Nature of Bauxite Mining and Adivasi Livelihoods in the Industrialisation of Eastern India. In K. B. Nielsen & P. Oskarsson (Eds.), Industrialising Rural India: Land, Policy, Resistance (pp. 123–139). London: Routledge.
2016. (with Kenneth Bo Nielsen). Development Deadlocks of the New Indian State. Economic and Political Weekly, 51(4), 67–69.
2015. Governing India’s bauxite mineral expansion: Caught between facilitating investment and mediating social concerns. Extractive Industries & Society, 2/3(2), 426–433.
2014. (with Kenneth Bo Nielsen). Development deadlock: Aborted industrialization and blocked land restitution in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, India. Development Studies Research, 1(1), 267–278.
2013. Dispossession by confusion from mineral–rich lands in central India. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 35(2), 199–212.