Arun Agrawal

Samuel Trask Dana Professor


PhD, Duke University (political science)

MA, Duke University (political science)

MBA, Indian Institute of Management (development administration and public policy)

BA, Delhi University (history)

(734) 647-5948


Arun Agrawal, PhD, emphasizes the politics of international development, institutional change, and environmental conservation in his research and teaching. He has written critically on indigenous knowledge, community-based conservation, common property, population resources, and environmental identities. Agrawal is the coordinator for the International Forestry Resources and Institutions network and is currently carrying out research in central and east Africa as well as South Asia. Since 2013, Agrawal has served as the editor-in-chief of World Development and his recent work has appeared in Science, PNAS, Conservation Biology, Development and Change, among other journals. Preceding his work at U-M, Agrawal was educated at Duke University, the Indian Institute of Management, and Delhi University and has held teaching and research positions at Yale, Florida, McGill, Berkeley, and Harvard among other universities. 

  • 2015-18: (Co-PI) Large-Scale Land Transactions as Drivers of Land-Cover Change in SubSaharan Africa. NASA. 891K (With Dan Brown, PI).
  • 2014-15: (PI) Integrating forest commons and global datasets. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) 153K.
  • 2014-18: (PI) Forest Dependence and effectiveness of forest interventions to support livelihoods. Department for International Development. 3.1M.
  • 2014-16 (PI) International Institute for Education (State Department). Climate change mitigation, avoided deforestation and commodity agriculture. Global Innovation Initiative. 250K (with P. Newton and L. Wollenberg)
  • 2013: (PI): Enhancing causal inference for forest commons outcomes, Rights and Resources Initiative (60K)

  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington.
  • Senior Scholars fellowship from the American Institute for Indian Studies to carry out fieldwork in India on indigenous knowledge.
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University.
  • Best Dissertation in Political Economy Award from the American Political Science Association
  • Ciriacy-Wantrup post doctoral fellowship from the University of California at Berkeley.

Select publications: 

  • Coordinator: International Forestry Resources and Institutions Program (2006- Present)
  • Member, NSF-IGERT (National Science Foundation-Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) evaluation panel (2010)
  • Member, Fellowship selection panel, ACLS (2009-2011)