My research explores the intersection between environmental governance, rural development, and democratic politics in the developing world, with a focus on India.
I have ongoing research projects on:
- decentralization, local democracy, and rural development
- rural livelihoods and social vulnerability in the context of climate change
- drivers of joint human-environmental outcomes in human-dominated landscapes
- the social impacts of afforestation
Currently, I am involved in two funded projects:
“Institutional networks and self-organized adaptation: Tracing the democratic architectures of climate response” funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), 2019-2021 (5.6 million Swedish Kronor, €560,000) as lead investigator (with Forrest Fleischman, Dil Khatri, and Ashwini Chhatre)
"Impacts of Afforestation on Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in India" funded by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA, 2017-20 ($750,000), project lead Forrest Fleischman, University of Minnesota
To read more about my research past and present, please visit my personal website.
Postdoctoral Fellow, New Generation Network (NGN), Australia India Institute, joint affiliation with University of Melbourne and La Trobe University, 2016-2019.
Research Fellow for the “Sentinel Landscapes” research project, led by Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), 2016.
Postdoctoral Fellow at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India to work with the Revitalizing Rainfed Agriculture Network (RRAN), 2015-2016.
PhD, Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science (GIS). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2014. Dissertation: Reframing citizenship by decentralizing development under India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).
MA, Department of Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010. Thesis: Protesting Conservation by Protecting the Environment: A case study from the Indian Himalayas.
Maryville University, St. Louis, Missouri - Bachelor of Fine Arts (painting and photography), summa cum laude, 2006.
Fischer, Harry, and Syed Shoaib Ali. 2019. Reshaping the public domain: Decentralization, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), and trajectories of local democracy in rural India. World Development 120: 147-158.
Balls, Jonathan and Harry Fischer. 2019. Electricity-centered clientelism and the contradictions of private solar micro-grids in India. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 109(2): 465-475. To be reprinted in "Environmental Governance in a Populist/Authoritarian Era", edited James McCarthy, 2020, Routledge.
Fischer, Harry. 2017. Harnessing the state: social transformation, infrastructural development, and the changing governance of water systems in the Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh, India. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 107(2): 480-489.
Fischer, Harry. 2016. Beyond participation and accountability: Theorizing representation in local democracy. World Development 86: 111–122.
Fischer, Harry, and Ashwini Chhatre. 2016. Assets, livelihoods, and the ‘profile approach’ for analysis of differentiated social vulnerability in the context of climate change. Environment and Planning A 48(4): 789-807.
Fischer, Harry, N. L. Narasimha Reddy, and M.L Sanyasi Rao. 2016. Can more drought resistant crops promote more climate secure agriculture? Prospects and challenges of millet cultivation in Ananthapur, Andhra Pradesh. World Development Perspectives 2: 5-10.
Fischer, Harry, and Ashwini Chhatre. 2013. Environmental Citizenship, Gender, and the Emergence of a New Conservation Politics. Geoforum 50: 10-19.
Persha, Lauren, Harry Fischer, Ashwini Chhatre, Arun Agrawal, and Catherine Benson. 2010. Biodiversity conservation and livelihoods in human-dominated resource-governance regimes: Forest commons in South Asia. Biological Conservation 143(12): 2918-2925.