School of Social and Political Science

Shubhi Sharma

Job Title

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

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Research interests

Research interests

Marx, Foucault, Governmentality, Adivasis, India, REDD+, gender, Environmental Sociology


About my PhD research

I 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.

Work Experience

Research Assistant for Dr. Isabel Fletcher and Dr. Gill Haddow, University of Edinburgh

(Literature review on ‘The sociology of human gut’), 2020

Research assistant for Dr. Angus Bancroft, University of Edinburgh, 2019

(Literature review for a GCRF project on ‘Precariousness, marginalization and the digital economy in developing countries’).

Tutor, 'Sustainable Development 2A' (SCIL08009), University of Edinburgh, 2017-2021.

Tutor, 'Sociology 1B' (SCIL08005), University of Edinburgh, 2017-2021.

Freelance marking:

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

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


Annette Lawson Trust award, 2020

Conferences and panels

Organising a panel at British Association for South Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh, (upcoming: April 2021)

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.

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).

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