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.
I am Program Study Director for the Swedish language 3 year program Bachelor in Political Science - Sustainable Development.
Reimagining land futures for Sustainable Development in India.
In this 3 year project 2023-2025 supported by the Swedish Research Council a research team across Sweden, India (Dr Radhika Krishnan) and the UK (Prof Vasudha Chhotray) explore possible land futures in relation to post-mining in central-eastern India. The aim is to stimulate possible land uses once mining comes to an end.
Planning for a just coal energy transition from the ground up: Engaging coalfield communities in India for a fossilfree future
This research project 2022-2024 supported by the Swedish 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.
'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 for PhD student Deeksha Sharma.
Second supervisor to PhD student Arvid Stiernström.