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Visiting Professor: Academic Year 2018-19

Professor Bina Agarwal 2International Balzan Prizewinner 2017, Bina Agarwal is Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, UK. Prior to this, she was Director and Professor of Economics at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University, where she continues to be affiliated. Educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Delhi, Professor Agarwal has held distinguished teaching and research positions at many universities, including Harvard, Princeton, Michigan, Minnesota (as the Winton Chair), and the New York University School of Law. She has also been President of the International Society for Ecological Economics; President of the International Association for Feminist Economics; and Vice-President of the International Economic Association. She is a member of the prestigious Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy, and The World Academy of Sciences. She holds honorary doctorates from ISS, The Hague, and the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Professor Agarwal's research contributions cover both theory and empirical analysis, with a particular focus on the most disadvantaged. An economist with a keen interest in interdisciplinary and intercountry explorations, her publications include 12 books and 85 academic papers. She writes especially from a political economy and gender perspective on diverse but interconnected subjects, such as property, land rights and livelihoods; environmental governance, sustainable development and collective action; agriculture, technology and food security; poverty and institutional transformation; legal change; and intersecting inequalities.

Professor Agarwal’s pioneering work on gender inequality in property and land, environmental issues, and agrarian change, has had global impact. Among her best known works are:

 A Field of One's Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia, Cambridge University Press, 1994 (awarded the A.K. Coomaraswamy Book Prize 1996; the Edgar Graham Book Prize 1996 and the K. H. Batheja Award 1996).

Gender and Green Governance: The Political Economy of Women’s Presence Within and Beyond Community Forestry, Oxford University Press, 2010

Gender Challenges, Oxford University Press, 2016 (a three volume compendium of her selected papers)

Professor Agarwal has received numerous honours for her work, including three in 2017 itself:

Malcolm Adiseshiah award for ‘Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies (2002)

Ramesh Chandra award for ‘Outstanding Contributions to Agricultural Economics’ (2005)

Padma Shri from the President of India for contributions to education (2008)

Leontief Prize from Tufts University ‘for advancing the frontiers of economic thought.’ (2010)

Order of agricultural merit (officer) from the Government of France (2017)

Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize for an ‘Outstanding Career in Agricultural Development’ (2017)

International Balzan Prize (2017) ‘for challenging established premises in economics and the social sciences from an innovative gender perspective’

Professor Bina Agarwal Workshop for PhD students

While in residence at the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies, Professor Agarwal undertook work on a major research project on group farming in Asia and Europe, as an example of innovative institutional change for sustainable agriculture and secure livelihoods. This research was based on a comparison of models and experiences of group farming across several countries and sub-regions. 

Professor Agarwal’s Visiting Professorship Lecture, Women and the Collective: Managing South Asia’s Forests and Farms was held at The Divinity School, St. John’s College, University of Cambridge on Wednesday 10 October 2018.


Recording of lecture available at:

Varsity interview, November 2018