Gayatri Menon

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Sociology of Development
  • Political Sociology
  • Modernity
  • Urban Sociology
  • Political Economy
  • Ethnography
  • Feminist Theory and Historical Sociology


Gayatri Menon works on the political economy of development, focusing on urbanization, displacement, and questions of home. She has taught at the graduate and post-graduate levels for several years, first at Cornell University and subsequently at Franklin and Marshall College, offering courses in political sociology and on theories, politics and practices of development. She also has extensive experience in the NGO sector, having worked on rural livelihoods and indebtedness in Maharashtra, on agricultural practices and politics in Garhwal, on land tenure and housing rights with a global network of women’s groups, and has served on the board of Aangan Trust for over ten years.

She has published her research in peer-reviewed journals, developed issue briefs, and co-edited Accumulating Insecurity: Violence and Dispossession in the making of everyday life. She is currently working on a book on the lives and histories of pavement dwellers in Mumbai.


Publications and Writings

  • 2014Land Tenure and Disasters: Strengthening and Clarifying Land Rights in Disaster Risk Reduction and Post-Disaster Programming,’ with Cynthia Caron and Lauren Kuritz. USAID Issue Brief.
  • 2013 — Citizens and Squatters’: the contested subject of public policy in neoliberal Mumbai,’ in a special issue on ethics and social policy in Ethics and Social Welfare 7:2, pp.155 – 169
  • 2012 — Slums in India.’ The New Oxford Companion to Economics in India. Edited by Kaushik Basu. New Delhi: Oxford University Press
  • 2011 — Accumulating Insecurity: Violence and Dispossession in the making of everyday life, edited with Shelley Feldman and Charles Geisler, University of Georgia Press
  • 2010 — Recoveries of Space and Subjectivity in the Shadow of Violence: the Clandestine Politics of Pavement Dwellers in Mumbai ’ in Contesting Development: Critical Struggles for Social Change, edited by Philip McMichael. Routledge