UMass Boston

Dolly Daftary

GISD - Dean's Office
Associate Professor
Bayside Floor 04

Areas of Expertise

Global development, Institutional change, social and economic change processes, market-driven policy paradigms, democratic politics, political economy, transnational flows of knowledge and aesthetics, agrarian studies, artisanal commodities, identity and cultural politics, ethnography, measurement


PhD, Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis
Graduate Certificate, New Institutional Social Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis
MA, Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
BA (Honors), Economics, Indraprastha College, Delhi University, India

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Dolly Daftary’s research focuses on the impact of social and economic change processes on individuals, households, and communities in resource poor and natural resource-dependent environments in a global and comparative perspective, grounded in field research in India. Dr. Daftary's cross-national interdisciplinary approach to scholarship is informed by political economy, institutional social sciences, and postcolonial studies. Her work is focused on the intersection of economic transformation, human and non-human nature, and democratic politics in agrarian environments.

Drawing upon interdisciplinary perspectives from political science, anthropology, institutional economics, and geography, Dr. Daftary explores how change processes and social relations articulate with one another. Additional interests include poverty and inequality, the workings of local government, and well-being with specific reference to gender, caste, indigeneity, and religion.

Dr. Daftary has been conducting long-term ethnographic fieldwork in India’s drylands which are inhabited by the largest share of the country’s poor. Her research has received media attention, and her current work explores the politics of caste and religion in Gujarat, the state known as the “laboratory” of Hindu nationalism in India. Her writings have appeared in The Wire and The Hindu.

Dr. Daftary is cross-affiliated with the PhD Program in Global Governance and Human Security at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. For more on her, read this profile on her research in India.

Media Contributions

Daftary, D. (2019, July 2). A blatant quest to consolidate power. The Hindu.

Daftary, D. (2017). Time for a new political order in Gujarat? The Wire