SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Dr Richard Axelby

BA, MA (Hull), PhD (SOAS)
  • Teaching
  • Publications


Richard Axelby
Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Senior Researcher

SOAS South Asia Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute

Dr Richard Axelby
Email address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
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Richard's doctoral thesis (SOAS 2005) looked at the historical development of forest management in the Indian Himalayas and how nomadic herders responded to changes in the systems of property rights governing access to pasture. In 2014 he returned to the site of his doctoral fieldwork to update the story of agrarian change and document the processes, institutions and forms of identity that shape access to education, government services and labour markets in Himachal Pradesh. Away from the grazing pastures of the Himalayas, Richard's research has taken him to the subterranean basement levels of the British Library tracing colonial scientific records and around the U.K. looking at British identity and history for the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

Since October 2017 Richard has been an integral member of the Global Research Network on Parliaments and People: http:// 



Authored Books

Alpa, Shah and Lerche, Jens and Axelby, Richard and Benbabaali, Delel and Donegan, Brendan and Raj, Jayaseelan and Thakur, Vikramaditya (2018) Ground Down by Growth. Tribe, Caste, Class, and Inequality in Twenty-First Century India. London and New delhi: Pluto Press and Oxford University Press (India).

Shah, Alpa and Lerche, Jens and Axelby, Richard and Denbabaali, D. and Donegan, B. and Raj, Jayaseelan and Thakur, Vikramaditya (2017) Ground Down by Growth: Inequality in 21st century India. London: Pluto.

Crewe, Emma and Axelby, Richard (2012) Anthropology and Development: Culture, Morality and Politics in a Globalised World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Axelby, Richard and Worku-Dix, Beth and Crewe, Emma (2022) 'Global partnerships on paper and in practice: Critical observations from inside a Global Challenge Research Fund capacity-development project'. Journal of International Development. [Forthcoming]

Axelby, Richard (2020) 'The Teacher, the Activist, and the Maulvi: Emancipatory visions and insurgent citizenship among Gujjars in Himachal Pradesh'. Modern Asian Studies, (54) 3, pp 868-897.

Raj, Jayaseelan and Axelby, Richard (2019) 'From labour contractors to worker-agents: Transformations in the recruitment of migrant labourers in India'. Contributions to Indian Sociology, (53) 2, pp 272-298.

Axelby, Richard (2016) '‘Who Has the Stick Has the Buffalo’: Processes of Inclusion and Exclusion on a Pasture in the Indian Himalayas'. South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, (13), pp 1-16.

Axelby, Richard (2015) 'Hermit Village or Zomian Republic? An update on the political socio-economy of a remote Himalayan community'. European Bulletin of Himalayan research, (46), pp 35-61.

Axelby, Richard (2008) 'Calcutta Botanic Garden and the colonial re-ordering of the Indian environment'. Archives of natural history, (35) 1, pp 150-163.

Axelby, Richard (2007) '‘It Takes Two Hands to Clap’: How Gaddi Shepherds in the Indian Himalayas Negotiate Access to Grazing'. Journal of Agrarian Change, (7) 1, pp 35-75.

Book Chapters

Axelby, Richard and Bulgheroni, Maura (2021) 'Old Ways and New Routes: Climate threats and adaptive possibilities in the Indian Himalayas'. In: Natarajan, Nithya and Parsons, Laurie, (eds.), Climate Change in the Global Workplace: Labour, Adaptation and Resistance.. London: Routledge.

Axelby, Richard and Rigaud, Suzanne (2019) 'The Hermit Village of Malana: An Update on Community Democracy and the Management of Change in the Himalayas'. In: Jodhka, Surinder and Simpson, Edward, (eds.), India's Villages in the 21st Century: Revisits and Revisions. India: Oxford University Press, pp 326-352.

Crewe, Emma and Axelby, Richard (2018) 'International Development, Anthropology in'. In: Callan, Hilary, (ed.), The Wiley Blackwell International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.

Axelby, Richard (2017) 'Gaddis and Gujjars in Chamba District, Himachal Pradesh'. In: Shah, Alpa and Lerche, Jens and Axelby, Richard and Benbabaali, Dalel and Donegan, Brendan and Raj, Jayaseelan and Thakur, Vineet, (eds.), Ground Down by Growth: Inequality in 21st century India. London: Pluto, pp 143-175.


This list was last generated on Saturday, 21st May 2022, 13:36 Europe/London.