Maryam Aslany

Senior Researcher

Research Interests

  • Patterns of global migration
  • Climate-induced migration
  • Political economy of climate change adaptation in agrarian regions
  • Informal labour and rural middle-class formation in low and middle income countries 


Background

I am an economic sociologist of international development, currently working on the project 'Future Migration as Present Fact' (FUMI) led by Professor Jørgen Carling. Focussing on Cape Verde, Ghana and The Gambia, FUMI explores the impact of unfulfilled migration aspirations, and the ways in which migration that has not yet taken place shapes the lives of individuals and the development of societies. 

I received my doctorate in Economic Sociology from King's College London in 2018. My PhD research examined the dynamic processes of new class formation in the Indian countryside, and identified a large but previously neglected group – the rural middle class – whose material situation and social aspirations differed markedly from its urban counterparts. The project used mixed methods, both quantitative and qualitative, including household socio-economic surveys and ethnographic fieldwork, and was based on 18 months of fieldwork in two villages in western Maharashtra, India.

My doctoral project resulted in a monograph, Contested Capital, published by Cambridge University Press (2020). Following my doctorate, in 2018, I conducted a collaborative study of the political economy of climate-change adaptation in Fiji, which was funded by the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. This interdisciplinary project looked into the relationship between village communities and the environment, focusing on the processes of production, commodification and consumption, all in the context of islanders' interactions with changing climate.

In 2019, I joined Wolfson College, University of  Oxford, as a Career Development Researcher and Junior Research Fellow, where I continued my research on climate change adaptation, with a comparative perspective on India. The project sought to understand how class and other forms of social status (such as ethnicity, caste, religion and gender) impact experiences of climate change, adaptation strategies, and climate-induced migration.

My research is primarily based on mixed methods for handling large national data sets, quantitative field evidence, qualitative case material and social profiles.


Education

2018. PhD (Economic Sociology), King's College London, UK

2013. MSc (Contemporary India), University of Oxford, UK

2009. MCom, University of Pune, India

2007. BCom, University of Pune, India

 

Academic positions

2019. Career Development Researcher, Wolfson College, University of Oxford

2019. Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Oxford


Visiting positions

2020. Research Associate, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford

2018. Visiting Researcher, The University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

2018. Research Associate, CESSMA, Paris Diderot University

2017. Research Associate, Ashoka University,  Haryana, India

2016. Visiting Scholar, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune, India


PRIO Departments

Current

PRIO Projects

Ongoing:

Publications

​Books

Aslany, M. (2020) Contested Capital: Rural Middle Classes in India, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles 

Aslany, M. (2019) 'The Indian Middle Class, Its Size, and Urban-Rural Variations', Contemporary South Asia, 27:2, 196–213, DOI: 10.1080/09584935.2019.1581727

Under review

Aslany, M. and Brincat, S. (2021) 'Class and Climate Change Adaptation in Agrarian Societies: Evidence from Rural India', in special issue: 'Financial Crises and Environment Sustainability', Sustainable Development.

Book Reviews 

Harriss‐White, B. and Aslany, M. The political ecology of climate change adaptation: Livelihoods, agrarian change and the conflicts of development by Marcus Taylor. London: Routledge/Earthscan. 2015. ISBN: 978–0–415‐70381‐9 (hbk). Journal of Agrarian Change. 2019, 19: 729-732.