Arjun’s research focuses on exploring how political transitions and socio-economic as well as climate change affect the way in which Himalayan communities manage their natural resources, such as water, in the long-term. Specifically, his interest lies in understanding the historical processes – bio-physical and social – underlying present day natural resource politics and reflecting on the different ways in which rights and access to natural resources, as well as their meaning, are negotiated over time.
Arjun obtained his PhD in History at KU Leuven, Belgium, in 2020, for his thesis titled Between the borders and the spirits: A historical political ecology of water from the perspective of a Himalayan village community. Previously, he held a MSc in Development Studies (2012), from SOAS, University of London, where his master’s thesis won the University of London’s Edgar Graham Award for the best dissertation. He is currently a Flemish Research Foundation (FWO) postdoctoral fellow and a senior research fellow at KU Leuven’s Centre for Global Governance Studies (CGGS).
Before becoming an academic, Arjun worked for a big-four accounting firm, which he left to work as a freelance consultant in various research think-tanks and NGOs dealing with access to finance and climate change adaptation, especially in Himalayan communities. Besides academic publications, Arjun enjoys writing opinion pieces on Indian politics and climate change issues in news periodicals, such as the Belgian longform magazine MO*.