Prof. Ashwini Chhatre (on leave through Spring 2015)

Section 1


Prof. Ashwini Chhatre (on leave through Spring 2015)

of Geography and Geographic Information Science and Center for Global Studies

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My research interests are broadly centered on the dynamic cross-scale interactions between democratization, economic development, and environmental governance. I have an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Delhi and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University. In between, I spent 11 years working with local communities and social movements on democratic governance of natural resources in India. During 2006-07, I was the Giorgio Ruffolo Post-doctoral Fellow in Sustainability Science, Harvard University. I have co-authored one book and published articles in Science, PNAS, Global Environmental Change, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Conservation Biology, Journal of Peasant Studies, World Development, and other journals. I serve as the Senior Editor for the journal Conservation Letters. A background in Economics, graduate training in Political Science, and long-standing engagement with scholarship in Geography, Anthropology, Ecology, and History ensure that my research will never be confined to a single discipline! 

Research Description

  • Long-term political dynamics of redistributive land reforms and their impact on social, economic, political, and ecological outcomes at multiple scales 

    The conceptualization of democracy as the emergent property of complex adaptive networks of public, civic, and market institutions, and its implications for vulnerability and adaptation to climate change

    Institutional drivers of trade-offs and synergies between livelihood benefits, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity conservation in human-dominated landscapes 

    Impact of environmental decentralization on individual attitudes towards the environment. 


  • Ph.D., Department of Political Science, Duke University, 2007.
  • B.A. (Economics), University of Delhi, 1990


Book Contributions

  • "Managing Forest Commons in Africa." Oxford Companion to the Economics of Africa. . 2012.

  • "Seeing the Forest through the Trees: Community Forestry in Nepal." Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development. . 2009.

Journal Articles

  • "Environmental Citizenship, Gender, and the Emergence of a New Conservation Politics." Geoforum (2013):
  • "Climate Policy Processes, Local Institutions, and Adaptation Actions: Mechanisms of Translation and Influence." WIREs Climate Change 3.6 (2012):
  • Chhatre, Ashwini, Shikha Lakhanpal, Anne Larson, Fred Nelson, Hemant Ojha, and Jagdeesh Puppala. "Social Safeguards and Co-benefits in REDD+: A Review of the Adjacent Possible." Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (2012):
  • "Against mono-consequentialism: Multiple outcomes and their drivers in social-ecological systems." Global Environmental Change 21.1 (2011):
  • Agrawal, Arun, Daniel Nepstad, and Ashwini Chhatre. "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation." Annual Review of Environment and Resources 36 (2011): 373-396.
  • Persha, Lauren, Arun Agrawal, and Ashwini Chhatre. "Social and Ecological Synergy: Local Rulemaking, Forest Livelihoods, and Biodiversity Conservation." Science 331 (2011): 1606-1608.
  • "Strengthening Causal Inference through Qualitative Analysis of Regression Residuals: Explaining Forest Governance in the Indian Himalaya." Environment and Planning A 43.2 (2011):
  • "Biodiversity Conservation and Livelihoods in Human-Dominated Landscapes: Forest Commons in South Asia." Biological Conservation 143.12 (2010):
  • "Reply to Ternström et. al.: Challenges of studying multiple outcomes simultaneously." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2010):
  • Chhatre, Ashwini, and Arun Agrawal. "Synergies and Trade-offs between Carbon Storage and Livelihood Benefits from Forest Commons." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (2009): 17667-17670.
  • Agrawal, Arun, Ashwini Chhatre, and Rebecca Hardin. "Changing Governance of World's Forests." Science (2008): 1460-1462.
  • Chhatre, Ashwini, and Arun Agrawal. "Forest Commons and Local Enforcement." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105.36 (2008): 13286-13291.
  • Ribot, Jesse, Ashwini Chhatre, and Tomila Lankina. "Institutional Choice and Recognition in the Formation and Consolidation of Local Democracy." Conservation and Society 6.1 (2008): 1-11.
  • Chhatre, Ashwini. "Political Articulation and Accountability in Decentralization: Theory and Evidence from India." Conservation and Society 6.1 (2008): 12-21.
  • Agrawal, Arun, and Ashwini Chhatre. "Institutions, Co-Governance, and Forests in the Indian Himalayas." Comparative Studies in International Development 42.1-2 (2007): 67-86.