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325 Gladfelter Hall
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India, Urbanization, Economic Geography, Inequality, Development, Epistemology


Professor POL-coverChakravorty’s research has focused on two broad themes—empirical work on India and theoretical work on distribution and (now) epistemology.  His most recent published book is The Price of Land (2013), which is an analysis of land acquisition and conflicts in the framework of state policies and land markets in India. It was shortlisted for the 2013 Crossword Award for Non-Fiction.  Other relevant books include Fragments of Inequality (2007), which analyzes structure and change in income distributions, and Made in India (2006), which is a study of the economic geography of Indian industry.  His shorter pieces include over fifty journal papers, book chapters, and reports. The papers are scattered through journals in geography, development economics, planning, and urban studies.  He also writes occasional pieces for newspapers in India in English and Bangla. His research has been funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. National Institute of Justice, the American Institute of Indian Studies, and the World Bank.

The-Promoter-front-cover1-193x300Right now, Professor Chakravorty has three projects at different stages of progress.  One is his first work of fiction, “The Promoter”, a satire set in contemporary Calcutta. It should be in print in 2015 summer.  The second is a book on epistemology and the archaeology of knowledge, provisionally titled “The Truth About Us: India Invented, India Unknown,” and is forthcoming from Hachette in 2016.  The third is a collaborative book (with Devesh Kapur and Nirvikar Singh) titled “The Other One Percent: Indians in America.” It is complete and under review.  He is also working with colleagues at the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania (where he is Visiting Fellow), focusing on a survey-based project in Delhi and Mumbai.

Professor Chakravorty was department chair from 2005-10, a period during which the department got its doctoral program and a new major in Environmental Studies.

Selected Publications

Please visit Professor Chakravorty’s website for details and downloadable material.

 Recent Books

  • The Price of Land: Acquisition, Conflict, Consequence. Oxford University Press.  2013.
  • Made in India : The Economic Geography and Political Economy of Industrialization. Oxford University Press. 2007. (With Somik Lall).
  • Fragments of Inequality: Social, Spatial, and Evolutionary Analyses of Income Distribution. Routledge. 2006.
  • Policing Illegal Drug Markets: Geographic Approaches to Crime Reduction. Criminal Justice Press. 2005. (With George Rengert and Jerry Ratcliffe).


  • The Promoter. Om Books. 2015 (In press).
  • The Truth About Us: India Invented, India Unknown. Hachette. 2016 (expected).
  • The Other One Percent: Indians in America. (In review). (With Devesh Kapur and Nirvikar Singh).

Papers and Chapters (a recent sample)

  • Inherited Land: The Evolution of Land Markets and Rights Before Independence.  In A. Dutt et al (eds.) Spatial Diversity and Dynamics in Resources and Urban Development. Netherlands: Springer (Vol-I). In Press. 2015.
  • Bypass. In Strangely Beloved: Writings on Calcutta. N. Gupta Ed. New Delhi: Raintree. Pp. 184-90. 2014.
  • Globalization and South Asia. In South Asia 2060: Envisioning Regional Futures. A. Najam and M. Yusuf, Eds. Anthem Press. Pp. 147-52. 2013.
  • A New Price Regime: Land Markets in Urban and Rural India. Economic and Political Weekly  Vol. 43, No.7, pp. 45-54. 2013.
  • Regional Development in India: Paradigms Lost in a Period of Great Change. Eurasian Geography and Economics 53: 21–43. Wiley-Blackwell. 2012.
  • A Lot of Scepticism and Some Hope. Economic and Political Weekly 41:29-31. 2011. Read Clusters and Regional Development. In The International Studies Encyclopedia Volume 1. R. A. Denemark, ed. Pp. 323-42. 2010.
  • “Industrialization: South Asia.”  “Urbanism and Urbanization: South Asia.” “Kolkata.” In Encyclopedia of the Modern World.  P. N. Stearns, Ed. New York: Oxford University Press. 2008.
  • Ad hocism at Large: Why Indian Urban Planning is Limited to Project Implementation.  Proceedings of the International Conference on Urban Planning and Environment. University of Mumbai. 2007.
  • The Effect of Individual, Program, and Neighborhood Variables on Continuity of Treatment Among Dually Diagnosed Individuals. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 87:54-62. (With GJ Stahler, S Mazzella, J Mennis, G Rengert, and R Spiga.) 2007.
  • From Colonial City to Global City? The Far-From-Complete Spatial Transformation of Calcutta, in The Urban Geography Reader, N. R. Fyfe and J. T. Kenny (Eds.), London and New York: Routledge.  Pp. 84-92. (Reprint from Globalizing Cities: A New Spatial Order? P. Marcuse and R. van Kempen, editors, Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 56-77.) 2005.
  • Urban Development in the Global Periphery: The Consequences of Economic and Ideological Globalization.  In Globalization and Urban Development. H. W. Richardson and C-H. Bae, editors.  Springer: Berlin and New York.  Pp. 29-42. (Reprint from Annals of Regional Science). 2005.
  • The History and Geography of Regional Development Theory: A Futile Search for a Paradigm. In Development, Displacement and Disparity – India in the Last Quarter of the Twentieth Century, S. Marjit and N. Banerjee (Eds.), New Delhi: Orient-Longman.  Pp. 29-52. 2005.
  • Do Localization Economies Matter in Cluster Formation? Questioning the Conventional Wisdom with Data from Indian Metropolises. Environment and Planning A 37:331-53. (With S Lall and J Koo.) 2005.
  • Industrial Location and Spatial Inequality: Theory and Evidence from India. Review of Development Economics 9:47-68. 2005.