Rusha Das picture

Rusha DAS

Visiting Research Fellow
Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
Spoken languages
English, Hindi, Bengali
Areas of expertise
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation
  • Political legitimacy
  • Everyday practices of state and society
  • Decentralization
  • Public participation
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • India


Rusha Das is a PhD student of public policy at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA). She  has been awarded the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship for research fellowship for the year 2020-21, and will be joining the Democracy centre as a visiting research fellow from early January 2021. Her dissertation focusses on understanding the political dynamics involved in changes associated with India’s EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) regulation from a neo- Gramscian perspective. She examines the notion of hegemonic stability and the mechanisms through which counter hegemonic forces operate that potentially makes the EIA regulation quite dynamic.

Her other research interest focusses on everyday negotiations between state and society in urban India. For post-colonial countries like India the boundaries between the state and society are described as blurred, a false dichotomy, a spongiform interface (Nugent, 1994; Gupta 1995; Harris-White, 1997). Rusha’s work is a multi-cited ethnographic study, where she examines the role of ward councillors as political mediators between the municipal corporation and the citizens.

As a visiting fellow at the Albert Hirschman Centre Rusha will be working on environmental referendums in the context of EIA in Switzerland. She will examine how these referendums provide spaces for public access and participation. What discourses are used and how do such discourses facilitate or constraint participation. She will specifically focus on the discursive strategies used by different environmental groups and the mechanisms through which these group discourses shape the EIA regulation in Switzerland.

Prior to joining IIMA, Rusha has worked as an Assistant Professor and taught courses on public policy, research methodology at various management institutions in Mumbai.


  • Das, R., Chatterjee, A. (2020). Political mediation and the place of values in politics: A study of the working of everyday state in India. Manuscript in Preparation

Selected publications