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Amrita Sen

Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

Based in


Amrita Sen is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and a Visiting Faculty with Azim Premji University. Her research interests include cultural and political ecology, politics of forest conservation, urban environmental conflicts with special focus on climate politics and adaptation action plans, ecological resilience and Anthropocene studies. In 2019, Amrita received the ‘Excellence in PhD Thesis award’ from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, for her doctoral research on the conservation politics in Indian Sundarbans. She is also the recipient of a Junior Core Fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Study, Central European University, Budapest. Amrita is the author of ‘A Political Ecology of Forest Conservation in India: Communities, Wildlife and the State’ (Routledge 2022) and has co-edited ‘Regional Political Ecologies and Environmental Conflicts in India’ (Routledge 2022). She currently investigates funded projects on designing adaptation and social resilience frameworks in the climate vulnerable delta of the Indian Sundarbans.

Country(ies) of Specialty

India Indonesia Sweden

Focus areas of expertise

Climate policy and politics Climate Justice Public opinion Social movements

How to Connect



Sarmistha Pattanaik and Amrita Sen (eds.). 2022.
Regional Political Ecologies and Environmental Conflicts in India. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.

Amrita Sen. 2022. A
political ecology of forest conservation in India: communities, wildlife and the state. Abingdon and New York: Routledge

[A blog
on the book is available on the SIID blog: http://siid.group.shef.ac.uk/blog/a-political-ecology-of-forest-conservation-in-india/]

Articles in Journals

Aloke Majumdar, Somnath Ghosal, Chhanda Ruj, Amrita Sen.
2023. ‘Why efforts to address India’s ‘just transition’ should support
nature-based solutions’. Energy
Research & Social Science

Amrita Sen and Harini Nagendra. 2023. ‘‘Songs of the Lake’: Understanding Situated Cultural Expressions on Nature through Dwindling Folk-Songs and Mythologies in Bangalore’. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies.

Aditya Ghosh, Amrita Sen and Marina Frietsch. 2023. ‘“What is a ‘very
severe cyclone’ please”? Uncovering knowledge and communication gaps in climate
resilience realities’. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 86, 103499.

Amrita Sen and Harini Nagendra. 2022. ‘Rethinking Inclusivity and Justice Agendas in
Restoration of Urban Ecological Commons: A Case Study on Bangalore lakes’. Lakes
and Reservoirs: Science, Policy and Management for Sustainable Use, 27 (4), e12408.

Gunjan Chowhan, Amrita Sen and Jenia Mukherjee. 2022. ‘Exploring Visions of Social Resilience and Sustainability around the Making of Mega and World-class Cities
in India. GeoJournal, DOI:

Aditya Ghosh, Amrita Sen, Kaberi Dutta and Priyanka Ghosh. 2021. ‘Falling ‘Fortresses’: Unlocking Governance Entanglements
and Shifting Knowledge Paradigms to Counter Climate Change Threats in
Biodiversity Conservation’. Environmental Management.

Marlène Elias, Matt Kandel, Stephanie Mansourian, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Mary Crossland, Deepa Joshi, Juliet Kariuki, Lynn C. Lee, Pamela McElwee, Amrita Sen, Emily Sigman, Ruchika Singh, Emily M. Adamczyk, Thomas Addoah, Genevieve Agaba, Rahinatu S. Alare, Will Anderson, Indika Arulingam, SG̱iids Ḵung Vanessa Bellis, Regina Birner, Sanjiv De Silva, Mark Dubois, Marie Duraisami, Mike Featherstone, Bryce Gallant, Arunima Hakhu, Robyn Irvine, Esther Kiura, Christine Magaju, Cynthia McDougall, Gwiisihlgaa Daniel McNeill, Harini Nagendra, Tran Huu Nghi, Daniel K. Okamoto, Ana Maria Paez Valencia, Tim Pagella, Ondine Pontier, Miranda Post, Gary W. Saunders, Kate Schreckenberg, Karishma Shelar, Fergus Sinclair, Rajendra Singh Gautam, Nathan B. Spindel, Hita Unnikrishnan, Gulx̱a taa’a gaagii ng.aang Nadine Wilson, Leigh Winowiecki. 2021. ‘Ten people-centered rules for socially sustainable ecosystem restoration’.
Restoration Ecology, 30 (4), e13574.

Amrita Sen, Hita Unnikrishnan and
Harini Nagendra. 2021. ‘Restoration of Urban Water Commons: Navigating Social-Ecological Fault Lines and Inequities’. Special issue on ‘Restoration For Whom, By Whom’ (Edited by Marlène Elias, Deepa Joshi, Ruth Meinzen-Dick), Ecological
Restoration, 39 (1&2), 120-129.

Amrita Sen and Harini Nagendra. 2020. ‘Local Community Engagement, Environmental Placemaking and Stewardship by Migrants: A Case Study of Lake Conservation in Bengaluru, India’. Landscape and Urban Planning, 204, 103933

Amrita Sen, Hita Unnikrishnan and Harini Nagendra. 2020. ‘Imperilled
Waterscapes: The Social- Ecological Transformation of Lakes in Bengaluru’.
Special issue on ‘New Epistemologies of Water in India’, Ecology, Economy and Society- The INSEE Journal (Edited by Jenia Mukherjee and Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt),
3 (2), 125-134.

Amrita Sen and Jenia Mukherjee. 2020. Bonbibi: A Religion of
the Forest in the Sundarbans. Environment & Society Portal, Arcadia:
Explorations in Environmental History (Summer 2020), no. 22. Rachel
Carson Center for Environment and Society.

Amrita Sen and Harini Nagendra. 2020. ‘The Differentiated Impacts of Urbanization on Lake Communities in Bengaluru, India’. International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, 13 (1),

Amrita Sen and Harini Nagendra. 2019. ‘The Role of Environmental
Placemaking in Shaping Contemporary Environmentalism and Understanding Land
Change’. Journal of Land Use Science, 14 (4-6), 410-424.

Amrita Sen. 2019. ‘Human Wildlife Conflicts in the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve and the Politics of Forest Conservation’. Decision, 46 (4), 321-333.

Amrita Sen and Harini Nagendra. 2019. ‘Mumbai’s Blinkered Vision of Development: Sacrificing Ecology for Infrastructure’. Economic and Political Weekly, 54 (9), 20-23.

Amrita Sen and Sarmistha Pattanaik. 2019. ‘A Paradox of the
“Community”: Contemporary Processes of Participatory Forest Conservation in the
Sundarban Biosphere Reserve (SBR) Region of West Bengal’. Environmental Sociology, 5 (1), 33-46.

Amrita Sen and Sarmistha Pattanaik. 2019. ‘The Political Agenda of Implementing Forest
Rights Act 2006: Evidences from Indian Sundarban’. Environment Development and Sustainability, 21 (5), 2355-2376 (published online on 19th March 2018).

Amrita Sen and Harini Nagendra. 2018. ‘Multiple Constructions of Environmental Placemaking
around the Urban Commons in Bangalore, India: Some Empirical Reflections’. Indian Anthropologist 48 (2): 39-52.

Amrita Sen and Sarmistha Pattanaik. 2017. ‘How Can Traditional Livelihoods Find a Place in Contemporary Conservation Politics debates in India? Understanding
Community Perspectives in Sundarban, West Bengal’. Journal of Political Ecology 24: 861-880.

Amrita Sen and Sarmistha Pattanaik. 2017. ‘Community Based Natural Resource Management in the Sundarbans: Implications of Customary Rights, Law and Practices’. Economic and Political Weekly 52 (29): 93-104.

Amrita Sen. 2016. ‘Exclusionary Conservation in Sundarbans: Who Pays the Price?’ Economic and Political Weekly 51 (53):
25-28. Reprinted as ‘What’s conservation without local hand?’ in India Water Portal.

Amrita Sen and Sarmistha Pattanaik. 2016. ‘Politics of Biodiversity Conservation and Socio Ecological Conflicts in a City: The Case of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai’. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 29 (2): 305-326

Amrita Sen and Sarmistha Pattanaik. 2015. ‘Degradation of Commons, Changing Customary Rights and Marginalization: The Vulnerability of the Poor in the Sundarbans’. Research Process 3 (2): 38-47.

Amrita Sen and Sarmistha Pattanaik. 2015. ‘Alienation, Conflict and Conservation in the Protected Areas of Urban Metropolis: A Case Study of Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai’. Sociological Bulletin 64 (3): 375-395.

Sarmistha Pattanaik
and Amrita Sen. 2013. ‘Current Rehabilitation Status over the Issues of Displacement at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai: Some Observations’. Journal
of Political Studies, 8: