Patrik Oskarsson

Patrik Oskarsson
Researcher (Associate Professor/Docent)


I work as teacher and researcher on resource politics. My present research examines coal mining and land use in ongoing energy expansions in India, and the possibilities to tackle environmental pollution via participatory environmental monitoring.

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.

Please click here for my CV.


I am Program Study Director for the Swedish language 3 year program Bachelor in Political Science - Sustainable Development.


Planning for a just coal energy transition from the ground up: Engaging coalfield communities in India for a fossilfree future

This research project supported by the research council Formas engages coalfield communities in India to develop a replicable framework for a just energytransition that is participatory, bottom-up and socially inclusive. Co-investigators are Prof Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt and Dr Radhika Krishnan.

Reimagining land futures for Sustainable Development in India
The aim of this project is to explore the possibilities of returning land currently occupied by coal to communities in central-eastern India in support of just and sustainable livelihoods.

'Participatory environmentalism: Mobilising citizens for air pollution mitigation and improved environmental health in India' supported by Formas 2018-2023

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.


I am the main supervisor of Deeksha Sharma and Sarthak Shukla. I am also the second supervisor to PhD student Arvid Stiernström.

Publikationer i urval

Oskarsson, P., Krishnan, R., & Lahiri-Dutt, K. (2024). Living with coal in India: A temporal study of livelihood changes. The Extractive Industries and Society, 17, 101437.

Oskarsson, P., Lahiri-Dutt, K., & Kindo, N. (2024). The micropolitics of coal in India: Understanding resource politics from the ground up through a materiality lens. Local Environment, 0(0), 1–16.

Kadfak, A., Wilhelm, M., & Oskarsson, P. (2023). Thai Labour NGOs during the ‘Modern Slavery’ Reforms: NGO Transitions in a Post-aid World. Development and Change.

Chanchani, D., & Oskarsson, P. (2021). ‘If the gas runs out, we are not going to sleep hungry’: Exploring household energy choices in India’s critically polluted coal belt (open access). Energy Research & Social Science, 80, 102181.

Oskarsson, P., Nielsen, K. B., Lahiri-Dutt, K., & Roy, B. (2021). India’s new coal geography: Coastal transformations, imported fuel and state-business collaboration in the transition to more fossil fuel energy (open access). Energy Research & Social Science, 73, 101903.

Oskarsson, P., & Chhotray, V. (2021). Preparing for a Just Transition Away from Coal: Proposal for a Closed Coalfield Land Rights and Restitution Act. Economic and Political Weekly, 56(32), 19–22.

Sareen, S., Nielsen, K. B., Oskarsson, P., & Remme, D. (2021). The pandemic as a rupture that follows rules: Comparing governance responses in India, USA, Sweden and Norway. Frontiers in Human Dynamics, 3.

Nielsen, K. B., Oskarsson, P., & Becker, S. (2021). Indiens neue Kohlegeographie: Importe, private Akteure und neue Infrastrukturen. In S. Becker, B. Klagge, & M. Naumann (Eds.), Energiegeographie (pp. 344–354). Stuttgart: Ulmer.

Routray, S., Oskarsson, P. & Satpathy, P. (2020). A Hydrologically Fractured State? Nation-Building, the Hirakud Dam and Societal Divisions in Eastern India. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies.

Nielsen, K. B., Sareen, S., & Oskarsson, P. (2020). The Politics of Caste in India’s New Land Wars. Journal of Contemporary Asia.

Kadfak, A. & Oskarsson, P. (2019). An (Urban) Political Ecology approach to Small-Scale Fisheries in the Global South. Geoforum.

Oskarsson, P.  and Sareen, S. (2019) Adivasiness as Caste Expression and Land Rights Claim-Making in Central-Eastern India (open access). Journal of Contemporary Asia.

Oskarsson, P., Lahiri-Dutt, K., & Wennström, P. (2019). From incremental dispossession to a cumulative land grab: Understanding territorial transformation in India’s North Karanpura coalfield (open access). 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 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. (editor with Kenneth Boo Nielsen). Industrialising Rural India: Land, Policy, Resistance. London: Routledge.

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.


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