SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Dr K Ravi Raman

MA (Calicut), PhD (ICSSR)
  • Publications


Ravi Raman
Department of Development Studies

Research Associate

Agrarian Change and Development


Dr K Ravi Raman
Email address:
0208 991 8091 or 0783 876 7164


My early fieldwork explored the history and political economy of the plantation life-world in the Indian south. I am currently integrating work done at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester(Hallsworth Research Fellow 2005-08), the Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford (Charles Wallace Fellowship,1999) and at the Centre for Development Studies, Kerala, India.

Inspired by structuralist and post-structuralist critical perspectives, my more recent work centres around the multiple histories of power, material relations and the “regime(s) of truth” as related to the indigenous people and the other historically oppressed dalit and backward communities in India. It has been my attempt to interrogate globalisation and the political economy of development, agrarian and the labour questions including the commodity chain trap, state and state-effects, organisation studies and corporate social responsibility, migration and regional development, natural resources, environment and post-development social movement, as also the implications of the entry of multilateral financial agencies on sustainable development and social democratic regimes. I have now been concentrating on the innumerable forms of 'contra-discourse’ that the victims and the oppressed articulate, as part of their resistance identity and social formation.

Method of Enquiry: Interdisciplinary with a focus on political economy, development studies and historical anthropology which in turn has helped me develop a critical dialogue with the historiographic traditions such as the Subaltern Studies and the World System analysis as in my authored book.

Regional Expertise: South Asia/India/Kerala


Authored Books

Raman, Ravi (2009) Global Capital and Peripheral Labour: The History and Political Economy of Plantation Workers in India. New York; London: Routledge.


Raman, K Ravi (2017) 'Subaltern Modernity: Kerala, the Eastern Theatre of Resistance in the Global South'. Sociology, (51) 1, pp 91-110.

Raman, Ravi (2014) 'Business, Ethnicity, Politics, and Imperial Interests: The United Planters' Association of Southern India, 1893–1950'. Business History Review, (88) 1, pp 73-95.

Raman, Ravi (2012) '‘Currents and eddies’: Indian-Middle East migration processes'. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, (5) 2, pp 189-205.

Raman, Ravi (2012) 'Environmental Modernity'. Seminar: The Monthly Symposium 637, pp 33-38.

Raman, Ravi (2010) 'Transverse Solidarity: Water, Power and Resistance'. Review of Radical Political Economics, (42) 2, pp 251-268.

Raman, Ravi (2009) 'Asian Development Bank, Policy Conditionalities and Social Democratic Governance: Kerala Model Under Pressure?'. Review of International Political Economy, (16) 2, pp 284-308.

Raman, Ravi (2008) 'Environmental Ethics, Livelihood and Human Rights: Subaltern-Driven Cosmopolitanism?'. Nature and Culture, (3) 1, pp 82-97.

Raman, Ravi (2007) 'Community–Coca-Cola Interface: Political Anthropological Concerns of Corporate Social Responsibility'. Social Analysis, (51) 3, pp 103-120.

Raman, Ravi (2005) 'Corporate Violence, Political Ecology and the Marginalised: Cola War in Plachimada'. Economic and Political Weekly, (40) 25, pp 2481-2485.

Raman, Ravi (2004) 'Muthanga: A Spark of Hope'. Social Analysis: The International Journal of Social and Cultural Practice, (48) 1, pp 123-135.

Raman, Ravi (2004) 'Of Peripheral Labour: Trajectories of Dalit Labour in the Plantations in Southern India'. The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, (47) 3.

Raman, Ravi and Bijoy, C. R. (2003) 'Muthanga: The Real Story: Adivasi Movement to Recover Land'. Economic and Political Weekly, (38) 20, pp 1975-1982.

Raman, Ravi (2002) 'Breaking New Ground: The Adivasi Land Struggle in Kerala'. Economic and Political Weekly, (37) 10, pp 916-919.

Edited Books or Journals

Raman, Ravi, (ed.), (2010) Development, Democracy and the State: Critiquing Kerala Model of Development. New York and London: Routledge. (Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series).

Raman, Ravi and Lipschutz, Ronnie D., (eds.), (2010) Corporate Social Responsibility: Comparative Critiques. USA: Palgrave Macmillan. (International Political Economy).

Book Chapters

Raman, Ravi (2010) 'In-Migration vs Out-Migration'. In: Jones, Terry-Ann and Mielants, Eric, (eds.), Mass Migration in the World-System: Past, Present and Future. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, pp 122-143.

Raman, Ravi and Ajit, D. (2010) 'Commercial Microfinance in India: Loan Angels or Loan Sharks'. In: Raman, Ravi and Lipschutz, Ronnie D., (eds.), Corporate Social Responsibility: Comparative Critiques. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Raman, Ravi (2010) 'Corporate Social Responsibility, Local Livelihood and Human Rights: The Case of Coca Cola in India'. In: Raman, Ravi and Lipschutz, Ronnie D., (eds.), Corporate Social Responsibility: Comparative Critiques. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Raman, Ravi (2010) 'Strange Bedfellows? Critiquing Corporate Social Responsibility'. In: Raman, Ravi and Lipschutz, Ronnie D., (eds.), Corporate Social Responsibility: Comparative Critiques. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Raman, Ravi (2007) 'Plachimada Resistance: A Postdevelopment Social Movement Metaphor?'. In: Ziai, Aram, (ed.), Exploring Post-Development: Theory and Practice, Problems and Perspectives. New York; London: Routledge.

Raman, Ravi (2006) 'Commodity Chain Trap? Struggling Lives in Kerala's Tea Plantations'. In: Rajasenan, D. and de Groot, Gerard, (eds.), Industrial economy of Kerala : nodes and linkages. Cochin, India: Directorate of Publications and Public Relations, Cochin University of Science and Technology for EU-Asia Link Project of the International Centre for Economic Policy and Analysis, Dept. of Applied Economics, CUSAT, Cochin, pp 125-148.

Raman, Ravi (2004) 'Muthanga: A Spark of Hope'. In: Kapferer, Bruce, (ed.), State, Sovereignty, War. New York: Berghahn Books, pp 107-124.

Raman, Ravi (1999) 'Labour Under Imperial Hegemony: The case of Tea Plantation Labour in South India, 1914-1946'. In: Bhattacharya, S., (ed.), South Indian Economy. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Raman, Ravi (1997) 'Intervention in the Western Ghats: An Inquiry into the Historical Processes of Loss of Biodiversity and Community Sources of Livelihood'. In: Pushpangadan, P. and Ravi, K. and Santhosh, V., (eds.), Conservation and Economic Evaluation of Biodiversity: papers presented at the Indo-British Workshop held at the Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram, India in February 1996. New Delhi: Oxford & IBH Pub.


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