Department of History and the College
Elizabeth Chatterjee studies the political economy of energy and climate change, with a focus on India from 1900 to the present. Her research explores the critical role of cheap energy in undergirding both industrialization and democratization, and the environmental impacts of energy policy as politicians seek to navigate between these often-competing goals. Her first book, tentatively titled “Electric Democracy: How Energy Politics Made Modern India,” uses the history of electricity to shed new light on the economic development of the world’s largest democracy since its independence in 1947.
Her research has been published in the Journal of Asian Studies, World Development, Development and Change, Contemporary South Asia, and the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. She is co-editor of Class and Conflict: Revisiting Pranab Bardhan’s Political Economy of India (Oxford University Press, 2020) and has contributed chapters to a number of collections, including Scarcity in the Modern World: History, Politics, Society, and Sustainability, 1800–2075 (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019).
Chatterjee earned her DPhil in international development from the University of Oxford, where she was a Fellow of All Souls College. She received her MSc in contemporary India with distinction from Balliol College and her BA with honors in modern history from Merton College, also at the University of Oxford.
Photo credit: James McMillen (University of California Humanities Research Institute)