Prof Nikita Sud

Associate Professor of Development Studies

Nikita Sud’s research and teaching is centred on the politics of development, the neo-liberal transformation of postcolonial states and governance, and the political sociology and political economy of contemporary India.

Her recent work has been on the Indian state, in particular, its engagement with development as an idea and in practice; its interaction with minorities based on gender, caste and religion; and the reinvention rather than recession of this entity under economic liberalisation. This long-term research resulted in her 2012 book, Liberalization, Hindu Nationslism and the State: A Biography of Gujarat, which was widely reviewed.

Nikita is currently exploring the liberalisation of land in contemporary India. The great land grab, while being politically fraught, forms the infrastructural base of the market economy. Land is a window into the many contests, including those over the environment, that define the ‘new India’. The media, NGOs, government and legal entities have been the initial users of this research.

Prior to joining QEH, Nikita was Lecturer in Politics at the University of York. In previous avatars, she has worked with All India Radio, and NGOs on issues of gender, disaster management and primary education. She regularly offers consultancy services on Indian business, regional politics, the land market and globalisation. Her research has featured in The Conversation, openDemocracy, The Telegraph, The Times of India, The Hindu, The Indian Express, Outlook, Tehelka, Scroll.in, NDTV, The Tribune, Dainik Bhaskar, East Asia Forum, Mediapart, Bloomberg News, Bloomberg Business, BBC Radio 4, Radio France, Al Jazeera and Radio Ö1 of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, among others.

She received a University Teaching Excellence Award in 2013, and the Oxford Development Studies Sanjaya Lall prize in 2007.

Research
Teaching
Publications
News
In the media
Liberalisation, Hindu nationalism and the state
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Religion in the making of a region
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Landscapes of liberalisation
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Nikita teaches on the MPhil and DPhil at ODID. For the MPhil in Development Studies, she contributes to the Core Course, the Foundation Course in the History and Politics of the Developing World, and to Qualitative Research Methods. She also offers a second-year option on The Indian State.

She has acted as a research assessor across the university’s Social Science Division, including in the departments of Social Policy, Area Studies, Geography, Politics and International Relations, and Continuing Education.

Nikita is on sabbatical in the academic year 2017-18.

Research Students supervised

Aisha Ahmad
Research Student (PRS)
Rakib Akhtar
Research Student (PRS)
Jasper Tilman Lennart Barth
Research Student
Mihika Chatterjee
Research Student
Md Adil Hossain
Research Student
Muhammad Ali Jan
Research Student
Sahil Kureshi
Research Student
Ikuno Naka
Research Student
Sudheesh Ramapurath Chemmencheri
Research Student (PRS)
Viresh Patel
School of Geography and the Environment

Books and monographs

Sud, Nikita (2012) 'Liberalization, Hindu Nationalism and the State', New Delhi: Oxford University Press (Monograph)

Journal articles and special issues

Sud, Nikita (2017) 'State, scale and networks in the liberalisation of India’s land', Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 35 (1) 76-93
Sud, Nikita (2014) 'The men in the middle: A missing dimension in global land deals', Journal of Peasant Studies 41 (4) 593-612
Sud, Nikita (2014) 'Governing India's Land', World Development 60 43-56
Sud, Nikita (2013) 'Local Agency, and Structural Continuity: Views from an SHG-based Microcredit Scheme in Western India', European Journal of Development Research 25 (2) 271-87
Sud, Nikita (with H Tambs-Lyche) (2011) 'Special Issue: Religion in the Making of a Region: Perspectives from Gujarat', South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 34(3)
Sud, Nikita (with H Tambs-Lyche) (2011) 'Introduction: Religion in the Making of a Region', South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 34(3) 319-32
Sud, Nikita (2009) 'The Indian State in a Liberalizing Landscape', Development and Change 40 (4) 645-65
Sud, Nikita (2009) 'Cracks in the Facade: The Gujarat BJP and Elections 2009', Economic and Political Weekly 44 (28) 15-19
Sud, Nikita (2008) 'Tracing the Links Between Hindu Nationalism and the Indian Diaspora', St Antony's International Review 3(2) 50-65
Sud, Nikita (2008) 'The Nano and Good Governance in Gujarat', Economic and Political Weekly 43 (50) 13-14
Sud, Nikita (2008) 'Secularism and the Gujarat State: 1960-2005', Modern Asian Studies 42(6) 1249-70
Sud, Nikita (2007) 'From Land to the Tiller to Land Liberalisation: The Political Economy of Gujarat's Shifting Land Policy', Modern Asian Studies 41 (3) 603-38
Sud, Nikita (2007) 'Constructing and Contesting an Ethno-Religious Gujarati-Hindu Identity Through Development Programmes in an Indian State', Oxford Development Studies 35 (2) 131-48
Sud, Nikita (2003) 'Experiences of the SGSY in Gujarat. From Process-Oriented Theory to Deterministic Practice', Economic and Political Weekly 38 (39) 4085-7

Chapters

Sud, Nikita (with Harald Tambs-Lyche) (2016) 'Gujarat and the Contradictory Co-existence of Economic Enterprise and Political Illiberalism'. In Knut A Jacobsen (ed) Routledge Handbook of Contemporary India , London: Routledge
Sud, Nikita (2010) 'The Politics of Land in Post-colonial Gujarat'. In E Simpson, A Kapadia (eds) The Idea of Gujarat. History, Ethnography and Text , Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan

Working papers

Sud, Nikita (2008) 'Narrowing Possibilities of Stateness: The Case of Land in Gujarat', QEH Working Paper Series QEHWPS163
Sud, Nikita (with A Yagnik ) (2004) 'Hindutva and Beyond: The Political Topography of Gujarat', LSE Crisis States Research Centre
21 September, 2017
Nikita Sud to feature in Curiosity Carnival with children's story about land
23 June, 2016
New article by Nikita Sud explores state, scale and networks through land in India
07 November, 2016
Nikita Sud’s caution on post-Brexit trade with India widely cited in media amid May visit to Delhi
06 September, 2016
Nikita Sud to discuss UK-India relations at Alumni Weekend
27 May, 2015
Nikita Sud Interviewed on Al Jazeera About Indian Crackdown on Foreign NGOs
18 May, 2015
Nikita Sud's Book on Liberalisation, Hindu Nationalism and the State Cited in Indian Express
09 March, 2015
Nikita Sud Writes about India's National Land Acquisition Law in Scroll.in
26 January, 2015
As India Celebrates 65th Republic Day, Nikita Sud Examines What Securlarism Means for Congress Party
05 November, 2014
Nikita Sud Writes for Scroll.in on Communal Violence in India
13 October, 2014
Nikita Sud Interviewed on Award of Nobel Peace Prize to Indian, Pakistani Activists

Pages

27 Jun, 2017
'Indian Princely States'. Nikita Sud takes part in 'The Forum' from the BBC World Service as part of India's 70th anniversary celebrations
31 Mar, 2017
'It is part of a larger narrative of targeting certain kinds of informality and illegality that invariably affect the poorest, the minorities and other vulnerable communities'. Nikita Sud quoted by Reuters on closure of abbatoirs in India
27 Mar, 2017
'llegality vs informality: what the crackdown on slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh is really about'. Nikita Sud writes about the politics of food in India's most populous state for scroll.in
15 Mar, 2017
'This is bound to have a knock-on effect on UK-India research collaborations'. Nikita Sud comments for Nature Index on decline in UK in student numbers from India
02 Feb, 2017
'To many ... Modi followers, these NGOs are simply anti-national'. Nikita Sud comments in Daily Mail on Narendra Modi's moves against foreign NGOs
17 Jan, 2017
'The new superpowers in the global land grab and how they operate'. Nikita Sud writes for The Conversation
25 Dec, 2016
'What a Gujarat Don’s Story Tells Us About the Spirit of the State'. Nikita Sud writes for The Wire
28 Nov, 2016
'Notes Ban Is Not About Money, More A Moral Exercise'. Nikita Sud writes for NDTV
08 Nov, 2016
'Why Indians aren’t impressed with Theresa May’s business offer'. Nikita Sud writes for The Conversation
04 Nov, 2016
‘India does not owe a friendly relationship to the UK because of colonialism'. Nikita Sud quoted extensively in Daily Mail

Pages

Research interests:

The state in the developing world; the politics of economic liberalisation; the good governance agenda; consultants, brokers and middlemen in development, corruption, interstitial spaces in states and markets; the global land grab; the politics of land markets; urban and peri-urban land, construction, infrastructure, the real estate industry; religion as identity in development contexts; the society, politics and economy of post-independence India