South Asia, Central Asia; comparative political sociology of water resources and development; technology and agrarian change; boundary work in natural resources management; interdisciplinary social theory.
The impact of privatisation and commercialisation; public and private sector systems of provision; infrastructure development; utilities; role of domestic private sector in basic service delivery, equity impact of institutional and infrastructure reform.
International and domestic law and policy concerning the environment, natural resources, water, sanitation, agriculture, sustainable development, climate change, health; social rights; intellectual property; India.
Ben is an Associate Professor in Environment and Development Economics at the Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science. He obtained a PhD in Economics from University College London in 2005. His research includes social discounting for long-term public projects, the economics of water resources and the economics of agriculture and food security. He has served as a Consultant for numerous international organisations, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the World Wide Fund for Nature. He has also advised governments in the UK, USA, Norway, China, Namibia and Pakistan on various aspects of environmental policy.
India, especially Tamil Nadu and adivasi western India; caste and religion, dalit politics, vernacular Christianity, environmental history, common property resources, indigenous irrigation, participatory rural development, aid agencies, anthropology of development
Analysis of water resources in semi-arid regions and the role of global systems in ameliorating local and regional water deficits. Established the concept of Virtual Water. Was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize in 2008 in recognition of his contribution to water science.