Alpa Shah

Alpa Shah

London School of Economics and Political Science


Alpa Shah is Professor of Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics. Her research and writings span many themes including revolutionary insurgency, state and citizenship; terrorism, democracy and human rights; global capitalism, inequality and poverty; agrarian change, precarious labour migration and informal economies of care; indigenous politics, conservation and environmental justice; race, caste, class and gender relations. Much of Alpa’s writings are based on the experience of deep immersive field research among the forest dwelling indigenous people of eastern India – Adivasis. She has also conducted research in Nepal and among Dalits, stigmatised as Untouchable people.

Alpa’s latest book, The Incarcerations: BK-16 and the Search for Democracy in India is on the Financial Times ‘What to Read in 2024’ list and has garnered acclaim in The Times, New Statesman, Telegraph and Nature. Her last book, Nightmarch: Among India’s Revolutionary Guerrillas, won many accolades including being a finalist for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Writing and the New India Foundation Book Prize, longlisted for the 2019 Tata Live Literary Non-fiction Award, selected as a 2018 Book of the Year for the New Statesman, History Workshop, Scroll India, a Hindu Year in Review Book, and a Hong Kong Free Press Best Human Rights Book. In 2020, Nightmarch won the Association of Political and Legal Anthropology Book Prize in Critical Anthropology.

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