B. Agarwal holds an MA in economics from Cambridge (1977) and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Delhi (Delhi School of Economics, 1978). She is widely appreciated, in India and beyond, among academic peers, policy-makers and practitioners for her contributions in the area of environment and development; land, livelihoods and property rights; collective action; the political economy of gender.
Bina Agarwal is the author and editor of various books including amongst others the well-known A Field of One’s Own (1994, Cambridge University Press) on gender and land rights in South Asia as well as the more recent Gender and Green Governance: The Political Economy of Women’s Presence and Beyond Community Forestry (2010, Oxford University Press). Her widely cited academic papers can be read in academic journals such as World Development, Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Peasant Studies, Ecological Economics, Feminist Economics, Journal of Agrarian Change, Cambridge Journal of Economics.
Since 2009 she is the Director of the Institute of Economic Growth at the University of Delhi where she has been teaching economics since 1988. Over time, the radius of her teaching assignments have gradually expanded beyond the Indian setting. She has amongst others been a visiting professor and research fellow at universities in the US and UK, including Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government), New York University (School of Law), MIT, the Universities of Sussex and Reading. Her audience is diversified, including Ma, M.Phil and Ph.D. students as well as government officials involved in policy and planning. Her writings and teaching have been influential within various policy arenas (government, civil society) and levels (local, national, global).
Besides her contributions in terms of teaching, research and policy advisory work, she actively participates in international professional organizations (she is the current president of the International Society for Ecological Economics, she has been before president of the International Association of Feminist Economics, Vice-President of the International Economic Association, etc.), in editorial boards (e.g. Oxford Development Studies, Associate Editor of Feminist Economics and Signs), in UN bodies (United Nations Economic and Social Council, UNDP, FAO), Indian councils and institutions (including the Planning Commission).
Prof. Agarwal is worldwide highly appreciated for her academic work which is evident from the awards and honours she has received (including the Leontief prize 2010 granted by the Global Development and Environment Institute of Tufts University and the Honorary Doctorate Institute of Social Sciences, The Hague, 2007). We would like to honour her in particular for her blending of theoretical and analytical rigor/sharpness with methodologically sound empirical work. She has a matchless capacity to frame so-called and often neglected cross-sectional issues of gender and environment in a language which is understandable and appealing, even to audiences which do not necessarily excel in gender or environmental sensitivity. In doing this, she has been effective in forging highly sensitive issues on the mainstream development agenda, both within Indian society as well as internationally.