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Dr Indrajit Roy



Indrajit obtained his doctorate in development studies from the University of Oxford. His doctoral dissertation, titled ‘Capable subjects: Power and politics in eastern India’, offered a politicised reading of Amartya Sen’s capability approach.  Since then, he has held the ESRC Future Research Leader Fellowship at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID). He continues to hold a Junior Research Fellowship at Wolfson College, University of Oxford and is also Research Associate at ODID.

Areas of interest

Democracy; societal transitions; social citizenship; political economy; comparative politics; international political economy; poverty and inequality; emerging markets; and development politics.



Roy researches and teach the politics of development, understood broadly as an ensemble of practices, processes and possibilities that encompass economic change and social transformation. His work illustrates the profound ways in which agents in the Global South disrupt prevailing understandings of development, thereby exploring the global possibilities of development and reframing the discipline.

His current and future research programmes strengthen critical approaches to development challenges. First, as Principle Investigator of an ESRC/ EqUIP-funded project titled ‘Citizenship futures’, he unsettled the North-South binary that has hitherto attenuated a global understanding of development by convening collaborative and comparative ethnographies among socially excluded people in Mumbai, London and Paris. Such an approach departs from dominant understandings of development as a collection of ideas, institutions and practices innovated in the Global North and imposed on the Global South. Second, his research directs attention to poor people’s political subjectivities through ethnographic and historical-institutional exploration of such themes as ‘hope’, ‘dignity’ and ‘citizenship’: themes central to his previously held ESRC FutureResearch Leaders (FRL) Fellowship. Such explorations challenge the overwhelming focus in the discipline of development politics on policy, business and social elites. Third, he is meditating on the growing role of Global South actors in global development in his latest research on the so-called “Rising Powers” and other emerging market economies with a specific focus on their underlying state-society complexes. This research programme has been nurtured by a combination of university research priming funds at York (2019), a ‘Pushing the Boundaries’ grant by the Political Studies Association (2018) and an ESRC Impact Acceleration Account’ (2017).



Rising Powers


Politics of the poor

External activities

Editorial duties

Indrajit reviews regularly for academic journals and book publishers. He is also invited to review proposals for research funding bodies such as Economic and Social Research Council. He has been invited to deliver lectures and talks in several universities and organisations across the world. Recent activities include his role as a discussant for a Webinar on Universalisation on Health Care in the Emerging Economies. He was also interviewed by the Indian media to comment on recent policy changes on social policy with far-ranging implications for the rights and entitlements of internal labour migrants in that country.

Two articles in Hindustan Times:

A combination of aspiration and desperation is fuelling migration in India

Goverment panel suggests removal of domicile provision laws relating to work for migrants

Indrajit has previously been invited to discuss the OECD report titled Perspectives on Global Development: International Migration in a Shifting World, held in Paris in January 2016.

Indrajit Roy image

Contact details

Dr Indrajit Roy
Department of Politics
University of York
YO10 5DD

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