University of Delhi
Faculty Member Profile


Dr. Sudha Vasan

  Associate Professor
     Department of Sociology,
University of Delhi,
Delhi 110007

Educational Qualifications


Yale University, USA


Thesis topic:  Contested Categories, Blurred Boundaries: Rural Society, Forest Bureaucracy and Timber Rights in Himachal Pradesh, India


Purdue University, USA


Thesis topic: Attitudes, Beliefs and Perceptions of Non-industrial Private Forest Landowners in the Mid-western United States.


Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, India



Career Profile

Department of Sociology, University of Delhi, Delhi

Reader / Associate Professor

4 years

Teaching, research

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mumbai

Assistant Professor

1 year

Teaching, Research

Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi


2 years


Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla


2 years


School of Environmental Studies, Yale University, USA


Research Associate

1.5 years

1 year



Areas of Specialization / Interest

Social and political ecology, Himalayan region, social stratification, gender, social and cultural capital, sociology of law and sociology of development.

Subjects Taught

Sociology of India II, Sociology of Law, Sociology of Development, Gender and Society, Social Stratification, Methodology, Cultural Anthropology, Social Theory, Sustainable Development, Nature, Society and Environment, Environmental Sociology.


Democractic Decision Making in Climate Change: Avoiding the Delusion of Participation.  International Conference on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies, Shimla Himachal Pradesh, 19-21 November 2009.

Environmentalism and the Crisis of Capitalist Development. Public Lecture at Political Science Department, Delhi University, South Campus, November 2009.

Political Ecology. Workshop on Social Science for natural scientists conducted by Ashoka Trust for research in Ecology and Environment, Bengaluru. 8-13th June, 2009.

Forest Settlements in the Raj: Persistent diversity in forest property regimes in Himachal Pradesh, presented at International workshop on Nature in the Raj, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, August 2006.

Policy Implementation as an act of translation. Presented at International Conference On Translating Global Cultures, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, August 2006.

Economic and Cultural Transformation in Frontier Communities. Presented at seminar on Reforms and Democratization: Challenges of Governance in India and China, Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi, August 2006.

Political Economy of Sacred Groves in the Western Himalaya. Presented at Resource Management in the Asia-Pacific Seminar, Australian National University, Australia, September 2005.

Devban Institutions in Kullu: Transformation, adaptation and potential.  Presented at International Association for the Study of Common Property Tenth Biennial Conference, Mexico, August 2004.

Research Projects (Major Grants/Research Collaboration)

Institutionalizing Forestry Research in India: The Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.   Government of India’s Project of the History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture. 2007.

Political Economy of Sacred Groves in the Western Himalaya.  Australian National University, 2005.

Food Security and Vulnerability among Migrant Labor in Himachal Pradesh.  FAO, 2004-2005.

Border Trades and Border Peoples.  Institute of Chinese Studies, 2004-2005.

Forest Rights in Jharkhand: Laws, Policies and Practices. UNDP, 2003-2004.

Awards and distinctions

Visiting Fellow, Australian National University, 2005

Ruth Glass Fellow, London School of Economics, 2004

MacArthur Summer Research Grant, 1999

Association with Professional Bodies


Indian Sociological Association

Indian Association for Women’s Studies

International Association for Ladakh Studies

Other Activities

Public Service / University Service / Consulting Activity

Advisory committee, ICSSR Journal of Abstracts and Reviews

Book reviews Editor, Conservation and Society

Lectures on Contemporary Environmental Politics in India. In Department of Environmental Studies, Delhi University.  3rd and 10th Nov., 2009.


Forest Law, Ideology and Practice. Page 113-131 in Legal Grounds. Natural Resources, Identity and Law in Jharkhand. Edited by Nandini Sundar. Oxford Unviersity Press, 2009.

“A Comparative View: Policy Implementation in Himachal Pradesh.” Chapter in Re-Interpreting nature and culture in Southeast Asia. Edited by M.R. Dove, P.E. Sajise and A. Doolittle. Yale University Press, 2007.

“Indo-Tibetan Border Trade in Himachal Pradesh,” China Report, 42: 41-55, 2006.

“In the Name of Law: Legality, Illegality and Practice in Jharkand Forests.” Economic and Political Weekly, XL(41): 4447-50, Oct. -14, 2005.

“Indo-Tibetan Border Trade in Himachal Pradesh,”  Occasional Studies Paper No. 5, Institute of Chinese Studies, July 2005.

“Wildlife Conservation. Deconstructing the ‘Public’,” Economic and Political Weekly, XL(44): 4477-50, Nov. 12, 2005.