Dr Divya Sharma

Post:Lecturer in Sustainable Development (SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit)

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 876710
International:+44 1273 876710

Research expertise:
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My research draws on the subfields of political ecology, critical development studies, historical sociology, agrarian studies, and science and technology studies and employs qualitative methodologies. I am interested in postcolonial rural transformations, mapping changing landscapes of work, agro-ecology and the politics of sustainability. 

Before coming to SPRU, I received a PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University (2017). Using ethnographic methods, my dissertation project (Techno-politics, Agrarian Work and Resistance in post-Green Revolution Indian Punjab) examines the unfolding of agricultural intensification through high yielding varieties of seeds and agro-chemicals in the Indian state of Punjab since the 1960s, through the lens of changing labour practices and forms of political organising among smallholders. In particular, I focus on the ongoing mobilisation for shifting toward ecologically sustainable farming and how it articulates with entrenched forms of social inequalities.

I have conducted extensive fieldwork-based research in rural and urban India. Prior to graduate school, I was engaged in collaborative research at the Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST), Delhi centred on women’s work in the informal economy.


I am currently involved with ESRC-DFID project Towards a Relational Approach to Agency for Mapping Pathways Into and Out of Poverty.  The project uses mixed methods (ethnographic life histories, archival data, multi-criteria mapping) to trace and assess relational pathways into and out of poverty in the North Arcot region of Tamil Nadu, India, and how these pathways have been shaped by ‘Green Revolution’ agricultural intensification since the 1970s.