Department of Development Studies

Professor Jens Lerche

Key information

Department of Development Studies Emeritus Professor in Agrarian and Labour Studies SOAS South Asia Institute Academic Staff Food Studies Centre Member
MA, PhD (Copenhagen)
Email address
Telephone number
020 7898 4505


Jens Larche is Emeritus Professor in Agrarian and Labour Studies at the Department of Development Studies at SOAS University of London.

Jens has an MA and PhD in Social Geography from the University of Copenhagen. His research focuses on India. His research interests include the political economy of agrarian transformation, and class and caste relations in agrarian transition; the political economy of labour relations, unfree labour and rural labour migration; and struggles, movements and labour organisations; and the role of the ILO. 

Jens has researched extensively in northern India since the early 1990s, with particular interests in agrarian change, caste and labour relations, including seasonal domestic labour migration. He has also undertaken many shorter field research visits to many other parts of India and in 2000-2002 he worked as Governance Advisor for the Great Lakes (Africa) region in the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK government.

He was editor of the Journal of Agrarian Change for more than a decade. Recent publications include the co-authored volume Ground Down by Growth. Tribe, Caste, Class, and Inequality in Twenty-First Century India; and articles on class, caste and social mobilisation, and on agrarian transition and agrarian crisis an Indian context. His present research is on Dalits and racial capitalism in India.


Research interests

  • Dalit discrimination
  • Caste and class
  • Racial capitalism
  • Labour relations
  • Labour migration
  • Agrarian change
  • Activism and struggles
  • India

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Mr Prince Asafu-Adjaye Trade Union Responses to Neoliberalism in Ghana
Abhishek Bhosale Land For Emancipation: Development with Dignity and Dalit Land Struggle in India
Muhtar Habibi Agrarian Capitalism in Neoliberal Indonesia: Class, Production and Reproduction
Ms Roshni Menon Land-pooling for the ‘smart city’ of Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh:Inclusive development or land dispossession in a different guise?
Suraj Bhaskarrao Telange Coercion and Co-option: Strategies of Labour Control and Labour Survival in Indian E-commerce Warehouses in India
Emilianus Yakob Sese Tolo Agrarian Conflicts and Environmental Problems: Class, Productiom and Reproduction in Indonesia


Contact Jens