My research broadly focuses on how economic/development activities typically favor some human groups at the expense of other existing or future human groups or the environment. My research draws on and critiques a range of political-economic theories and uses a mixed-methods approach.

Drawing on data from 60 interviews with Bhopal gas and water victims (Gas Peedit) and activists, field observations, archives, and official and independent reports, I examined the ways in which the neoliberal turn in the governance of the Global South played a role in the production of slow violence, a violence of prolonged social and environmental destruction that spreads over time and space. to examine marginalized locales’ vulnerability to slow violence, I created and analyzed a cross-national dataset of environmental catastrophes with long-term adverse ecological effects.

Nikhil deb with first and second-generation Bhopal victims (left) and is observing a demonstration, organized by Bhopal survivors (right), of the 34th anniversary of the Bhopal catastrophe. Image: Nikhil Deb

Future Research

I am currently preparing a book manuscript, Neoliberal Invisibility in the Global South. It advances our understanding of socioenvironmental harm by examining the ways in which neoliberal actors outsource environmental and health risks not only over space but also to future generations in peripheral areas of the Global South. Currently, I am developing my future research project on climate change as slow violence, studying climate change refugees, to go beyond the adaptation paradigm.