The department is a lively community that is recognised internationally as one of the top centres for research and teaching in 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.