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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Shubhi Sharma

Shubhi Sharma
Shubhi Sharma
Sociology School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK EH89XF
Research Interests
Marx, Foucault, Governmentality, Adivasis, India, REDD+, gender, Environmental Sociology

PhD title

Forest Conservation, Forest Dwelling People and Construction of Environmental  Subjects: Case of REDD+ and Adivasis in India

About my PhD research

I have recently concluded a 13 month long ethnographic fieldwork in the Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya (India) (2017 December-2019 January). Khasis are a matrilineal but deeply patriarchal Adivasi society where a conservation project (REDD+) was initiated by an all-male Adivasi leadership and an international group of actors. Meghalayan landscape is one of India’s richest source of minerals and the forests there account for almost 70% of the total geographical area of the state However, commercialization of natural resources over the past two decades has marred the landscape and has given rise to several such conservation projects. This project is closely intertwined with one male Adivasi’s personal life trajectory and charismatic leadership, which makes for an interesting tension as REDD+ is chiefly about impersonal markets. The Khasi society is also rife with tensions between a predominantly tribal and several minor non-tribal groups.   

      It is within this context that I aim to assess how the ‘technologies’ of REDD+ foster, maintain or entrench the past histories of dispossession; inequalities; gendered identities and conflicts, and create different kinds of ‘environmental and gendered subjects’. I am also analysing the agency of the Adivasis in these processes, whilst not losing sight of the structural inequalities at work. My ethnographic study was informed by feminist and governmentality methodology whilst it also drew from notions of personal and impersonal domination in Max Weber’s work.


Isabelle Darmon

Radhika Govinda

Roger Jeffery


Sharma, S. (2017) “Inequality, Democracy and the Environment” Environment and society- Advances in Research (review essay).

Currently writing a paper on Behavioral Ecology and Diurnal activity pattern of Saara hardwickii with Assistant Professor SK Das at GGSIP University.

Teaching Experience

Tutor, 'Sustainable Development 2A' (SCIL08009), University of Edinburgh, 2017.

Tutor, 'Sociology 1B' (SCIL08005), University of Edinburgh, 2017.

Freelance marking: 

Introduction to Sociology, Santa Monica College, United States, 2017-2018.
Gender and Sexuality, Santa Monica College, United States, 2017-2018.


Upcoming: BSA Annual Conference 2019, Glasgow Caledonian University, 24–26 April 2019.

Presentation on ongoing PhD thesis at the NIAS Environmental Asia PhD course at the University of Oslo, Norway, 2017.

Presented at New Directions Conference at The University of Edinburgh, 2017.

Academic Qualifications

M.Sc. Biodiversity and Conservation, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi, India (2015).

B.Sc. Biotechnology, Banasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan, India (2013).

Work Experience

Project Associate and Educator at Centre for Environmental Education (CEE), Lucknow, India, 2016.