Arun Agrawal is Samuel Trask Dana Professor of Governance and Sustainability at the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan. His research and teaching emphasize the politics of international development, institutional change, and environmental conservation. Arun was born in Forbesganj, Bihar, India, and went to school in Patna, Darjeeling, Delhi, Ahmedabad before working for a year at the Indo-German Social Service Society, traveling throughout India to learn about how civil society organizations attempt to address the worst effects of social inequality and ecological degradation. He received an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management before coming to the United States for a PhD in political science from Duke University in 1992. He has since taught at University of Florida, Yale University and McGill University. He currently teaches environmental politics and governance, and works on issues related to sustainable development at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He serves as the Editor in Chief of the journal, World Development.

Research Interests

Arun Agrawal's research interests are broadly in the field of development and sustainability and he has written critically on indigenous knowledge, common property, community based conservation and development, and agricultural change. He attempts to show through his work how institutions and institutional change interact with social processes to shape environmental and development outcomes. His substantive research interests include adaptation to climate change, land rights and gender, and the decentralization of environmental governance. Agrawal is the author of Greener Pastures and Environmentality, and his recent work has appeared in American Political Science Review, Conservation Biology, PNAS, Science, and World Development among other journals.

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Primary Section

Section 64: Human Environmental Sciences