School of Social and Political Science

Dr Jeevan R. Sharma

Job Title

Senior Lecturer in South Asia and International Development

Jeevan Sharma photo

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Chrystal Macmillan Building

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15a George Square

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Research interests

Research interests

I have broad interests in a) changing norms and forms of international development, global health, human rights, and humanitarian response; b) labour migration, border crossing and citizenship, c) culture and politics of South Asia; and d) socio-economic-political transition in Nepal and the Himalaya.



Political Economy of Social Change and Development in Nepal, Bloomsbury Academic (September 2021).

Crossing the Border to India: Youth, Migration and Masculinities in Nepal, Temple University Press (2018). **Indian/South Asian edition of this book was published by Bloomsbury India in 2019. See here! The review has appeared in The Journal of Asian Studies, Asian Affairs, Men and Masculinities, Himalaya, and Studies of Nepali History and Society.

Journal Articles

2021  ‘Covid-19 and Precarity of Low-income Migrant Workers in Indian Cities’ (with A. Sharma and A. Kapilashrami), Society and Culture in South Asia (special issue on ‘Social Distancing, Covid-19 and South Asian Experiences'), 7(1): 48-62.

2020  ‘Migration Health Research and Policy in South and South-East Asia: Mapping the Gaps and Advancing a Collaborative Agenda’ (co-author with Anuj Kapilashrami et. al), WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health, 9(2), 107-110, WHO Regional Office for South East Asia.

2019  ‘Foreign aid, Cashgate and trusting relationships: key factors contributing to (mal) functioning of the Malawian health system’ (co-author with Adhikari, Smith and Malata), Health Policy and Planning, Vol 34 (3): 197-206.

2018  ‘New forms of development: branding innovative ideas and bidding for foreign aid in the maternal and child health service in Nepal’ (co-author with Adhikari, et. al.), Globalization and Health, 14 (33):

2018 ‘Monetary Compensation for Survivors of Torture: Some Lessons from Nepal’ Journal of Human Rights Practice (lead author with Kelly) 10 (2): 307-326.

2018      ‘Accountability and generating evidence for global health interventions: The case of misoprostol in Nepal" (lead author with Khatri and Harper), IDS Bulletin 49(2): 49-64

2018      ‘Britain-Nepal Relations through the prism of Aid’ (lead author with Harper), European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, Vol 50/51: 145-161

2017      “Torture and Ill-Treatment Under Perceived: Human Rights Documentation and the Poor” (co-author, with Jensen, Kelly, Human Rights Quarterly, 39 (2), 393-415.

2017      “A Comparative Study of the Use of the Istanbul Protocol Amongst Civil Society Organizations in Low-Income Countries” (co-author), TORTURE - Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture, 26(3): 60-73.

2017      “Torture Redress mechanism in Nepal and Bangladesh: a comparative perspective” (lead author, with Morten Koch Andersen), Economic and Political Weekly (EPW), LII (17): 87-94.

2016      "Understanding Health Research Ethics in Nepal" (lead author, with Rekha Khatri and Ian Harper), Developing World Bio-ethics, (Special Issue: The Ethics of Health Systems Research in Low and Middle-income Countries), 16 (3): 140-147.

2016      “Bodies in search of freedom: changing rural political economy and Nepal’s marginal migrants”, Economic and Political Weekly, 51 (21): 53-60.

2014      "Community Forestry User-Groups and Conflict: Experiences of a Donor Supported Community Forestry Programme in Nepal" (with Andrea Nightingale), Disasters, 38 (4): 517-539.

2013      “Marginal but modern: Nepali labor migrants in India", Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research, 21 (4): 347-362.

2012      "Social Science Engagement and Political Interregnum in Nepal", Economic and   Political Weekly, XLVII (31): 45-48.

2011      “Culture of migration in the middle hills in Nepal”, Labor Migration: Opportunities and challenges for mountain livelihoods, ICIMOD Periodical, 59: 18-20.

2010      “On State Reconstruction in Nepal,” Economic and Political Weekly, 45 (4): 20-23.

2008      “Practices of Male Labour Migration from the Hills of Nepal to India in Development Discourses: Which Pathology?” Gender, Development and Technology, 12(3): 303-323.

Book chapters

2022      (forthcoming) Saving mothers’ and children’s lives: Reflections on gender and healthcare in Nepal, in H. Gorringe, et al (eds), Festschrift for Prof. Patricia Jeffery, New Delhi: Zubaan.

2022      (forthcoming) Migrants and Health: A study of low-income migrants in Punjab and Assam (with Chopra and Kapilashrami), in S. Irudaya Rajan, India Migration Report 2021: Migrant’s Health, Routledge

2021  “Politics of Childbirth in Nepal: The case of the maternal mortality ratio” (led-author with Adhikari), in C. Jullien and R. Jeffery (eds) Childbirth in South Asia: old challenges and new paradoxes, Oxford University Press: New Delhi.

2018      “Marginal Migrants? Migrant Associations and the Lived Experience of Nepali Migrant Workers in India”, in Gellner and Hausner (eds), Global Nepalis: Religion, Culture and Community in a New and Old Diaspora, Oxford University Press.

2015      “Rise of adivasi janajati movement and Nepal’s political interregnum”, in Hugo Gorringe, Suryakant Waghmore and Roger Jeffery (eds), From Margins to the Mainstream: Institutionalising minorities in South Asia, Sage Publications.

2014      "Aid and Violence: Development, Insurgency and Social Transformation in Nepal" (co-author with Antonio Donini), in Aparna Sundar and Nandini Sundar (eds), Civil War in South Asia: Sovereignty and Citizenship, Sage Publications.

2014      “Migration and Belonging: experiences of Nepali migrants”, in Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka, Gerard Toffin, David Gellner (eds), Belonging in the Himalayas, Sage Publications.

2013      “On the Way to India: Nepali Rituals of Border Crossing” (co-author with Sondra Hausner), in David Gellner (ed.), Borderlands of Northern South Asia: Non-state Perspectives. Duke University Press.

2012      “Nepal: History and Trend of Migration”, in Ibrahim Sirkeci, Jeffrey H. Cohen, and Dilip Ratha (eds), Migration and Remittances during the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond, World Bank, page: 137-139.


Torture and Ill-treatment: Perceptions, Experiences and Justice-seeking in Kathmandu’s Squatter Communities (lead author), University of Edinburgh, DIGNITY, Social Science Baha, Kathmandu, July 2016 (ISBN: 978 9937 0 0977 5)

How can you be 'marda' if you beat your wife. Notions of Masculinities and Violence in Eastern Nepal (co-author with Matthew Maycock, Juilie Bretheld, Ojaswi Shah and Ramesh Shrestha), Saferworld, London, UK (July 2014)

Op-Eds/blogs (most recent)

'Neglect of low-income migrants in covid-19', BMJ Opinion, 29 May 2020.

“Cashgate”, foreign aid, trust and relationships amongst stakeholders and its impact on Malawi’s health system (with Radha Adhikari and Pam Smith), in Health Policy and Planning Debated.

LSE South Asia Blog (invited commentary based on current research on outsourcing of aid), Looking beyond Maternal Mortality Rates in maternal health interventions: lessons from Nepal 20/07/2016. 

Documenting Torture (a commentary on torture documentation in Nepal), My Republica, 23 May 2016.

LSE South Asia Blog (Invited commentary on Nepal Earthquake and external assistance), The 2015 earthquakes highlight that Nepal is not a passive recipient of aid, nor should it be treated as such, 29 April 2016.

Far too common (a commentary on criminalisation of torture in Nepal, My Republica, Kathmandu, 19 April 2016)

Checkered History (a commentary on the political history of foreign aid in Nepal, My Republica, Kathmandu, 9 March 2016).

Revisiting Mahatonomics (a commentary on development in Nepal), My Republica, Kathmandu, 22 February 2016).

Book reviews (most recent)

"Societies, Social Inequalities and Marginalization: Marginal Regions in the 21st Century", Mountain Research and Development, 38(3):272-273 (2018)

"Maoists at the Hearth: Everyday Life in Nepal's Civil War", Conflict and Society, 1, 2015.

"Anthropology and Development: Culture, Morality and Politics in Globalised World", International Development Planning Review, 36 (4), 2014.

"The personal and the professional in aid work", e-IR, 14 February 2014.

Externally funded research projects

Principal Investigator: Documentation of Nepali migrant workers’ death and injuries during transit and their employment in destination countries, Global Challenges Theme Development Fund, Jan 2020-July 2021.

Principal Investigator: From the margins: Exploring Low-income Migrant Workers' Access to Basic Services and Protection in the context of India's Urban Transformation, ESRC-ICSSR, May 2018-Feb 2021 (other members of the research team include Anuj Kapilashrami and Patricia Jeffery in Edinburgh, and Radhika Chopra in Delhi University).

Nov 2016 to Aug 2017, Co-Investigator, Dynamic Flood Topographies in the Terai, Nepal: Community Perceptions and Resilience, Global Challenges Research Fund/NERC (GCRF), with Hugh Sinclair and colleagues.

May 2014 to Oct 2016, Co-Investigator, New Norms and Forms of Development: Brokerage in Maternal and Child Health Service Development and Delivery in Nepal and Malawi, funded by ESRC/DFID, with Ian Harper, Pam Smith, Radha Adhikari and colleagues in Nepal and Malawi. website: www.

May 2014 to Aug 2016, Co-Investigator, A comparative analysis of the documentation of torture and ill-treatment in low-income countries, funded by ESRC/DFID, with Toby Kelly and colleagues

January 2012- February 2014, Research Collaborator, (with colleagues in Edinburgh and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai), marginal populations, social mobilisations and development, UKIERI. GBP 30K

January 2012- April 2013, Co-investigator (with Antonio Donini at Tufts), Labor mobility, vulnerability and social transformation in Nepal, Humanity United Foundation, USD 150,000

2010-2011, Co-investigator (with Antonio Donini), Sovereignty, Globalisation and the Future of Humanitarian Action - Analysing Experience from Recent Crises in South Asia, The Future of Aid and Beyond Research Competition, DFID, UK. GBP 50,000

May 2011-December 2011, Principal Investigator, Labour mobility, vulnerability and social transformation in Nepal, Humanity United Foundation. USD 50,000

09/2010-08/2013, Co-Investigator (with Peter Walker, Daniel Maxwell, Karen Jacobsen and Elizabeth Stites), Coping with floods and managing livelihoods in Nepal Terai, OFDA/USAID. Total budget of the project is USD 1.1 million.

09/2010-02/2013, Research Collaborator (Nepal Co-Investigator), Biomedical and Health Experimentation in South Asia: critical perspectives on collaboration, governance and competition, ESRC-DFID Joint Scheme for Research on International Development (Poverty Alleviation), research grant with colleagues in Edinburgh, Durham India and Nepal, Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh. GBP 500k

2007-2010, Co-investigator (with Antonio Donini), Local Perceptions of Conflict and Social Transformation in Nepal, Governments of the Netherlands, Norway and Finland.


I have carried out ethnographic fieldwork in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, and Malawi. I have extensively researched on labour migration, borders, foreign aid-funded development projects, Maoist conflict, humanitarianism, human rights documentation, international research collaboration, ethics governance, the humanitarian crisis following floods, earthquake and conflict, health policy and planning, community health volunteers, and maternal and child health.

I received PhD from the School of Social and Political Science, the University in Edinburgh, and have worked at Feinstein International Centre at Tufts University between 2009-2011 and Save the Children UK between 2007-2009.

Over the last 15 years, I have offered consultancy services to a number of development organisations including DFID, World Bank, USAID, DANIDA, UK Government Office for Science, JHPIEGO, Options, Oxford Policy Management Limited, Care International, Save the Children, Saferworld, Scottish Government, United Mission to Nepal and Family Health International among others.

I am an executive member of the British Association of South Asian Studies (BASAS), and the Britain Nepal Academic Council (BNAC).

I am a Co-editor of Himalaya.

I am also an Associate Editor of 'South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies'.

I served as a member of the commissioning panel for the ESRC Centres Competition 2018.

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