Nayanika Mathur Publications




Paper Tiger: Law, Bureaucracy and the Developmental State in Himalayan India,” 2016, Cambridge University Press.

{A Winner of the 2017 Sharon Stephens Prize awarded by the American Ethnological Society}


Crooked Cats: Human-Big Cat Entanglements in South Asia” manuscript under preparation



Edited Collections

“Remaking the Public Good: A New Anthropology of Bureaucracy” guest editor (with Laura Bear) volume 33, no.1, 2015, The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology.


“Who Are ‘We’? Reimagining Alterity and Affinity in Anthropology” (with Liana Chua), in press, Berghahn Press {Methodology and History in Anthropology series}



Journal Articles

 “The Task of the Climate Translator,” Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. LII, No 31, pp. 77‐84.


“Eating Money: A Questioning of the Villainy of Corruption in the Leaky Indian State,” forthcoming in 2017, Modern Asian Studies (special issue on ‘Institutions and Their Discontents in South Asia’).


"1984 Doesn't Equal 2014 + 2016", Economic and Political Weekly, Volume L1, No. 49, 2016, pp. 70-72.


“Predation." In Lexicon for an Anthropocene Yet Unseen Series, Theorizing the Contemporary, Cultural Anthropology website, July 12, 2016.


“It’s a Conspiracy Theory and Climate Change: Of Beastly Encounters and Cervine Disappearances in Himalayan India,” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory volume 5, no 1., 2015, pp. 87-111.


“Introduction: Remaking the Public Good – A New Anthropology of Bureaucracy,” (with Laura Bear), The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, Volume 33, no.1, 2015, pp. 18-34.


“The Reign of Terror of the Big Cat: Bureaucracy and the Mediation of Social Time in the Indian Himalaya,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI) volume 20, no. 1, 2014, pp. 148-165


“Transparent-Making Documents and the Crisis of Implementation: A Rural Employment Law and Development Bureaucracy in India,” Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR), volume 35, no. 2, 2012, pp. 167-184.


“A ‘Remote’ Town in the Indian Himalaya,” Modern Asian Studies, volume 49, no. 2, 2015, pp. 365 - 392.


State Debt and the Rural: Two Historical Moments in India. Anthropology News. volume 54, no. 5, 2013.



Book Chapters

“Introducing the ‘We’ In and Of Anthropology” (with Liana Chua), introduction to edited collection, forthcoming, Berghahn Press.


“Effecting Development: Bureaucratic Knowledges, Cynicism and the Desire for Development in the Indian Himalaya,” in S. Venkatesan and T. Yarrow, eds. Differentiating Development: Beyond an Anthropology of Critique. London: Berghahn, 2012, pp. 193-209.


“Naturalising the Himalaya-as-Border in Uttarakhand,” in David Gellner, ed. Borderlands of Northern South Asia: Non-State Perspectives. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013, pp. 72-93.




“Give a Woman a Giant Panda”, review of “Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution,” by James Ferguson in Anthropology of This Century, January 2016, Issue 15.


“Privatising ‘Wild’ India,” review of “Saving Wild India,” by Valmik Thapar in Economic and Political Weekly, October 2015, Volume 50, issue 44, pp. 24-26.


“Government of Paper: The Materiality of Bureaucracy in Urban Pakistan,” by Matthew S. Hull in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 2015, volume 21, issue 3, pp. 707-708.


“Wall Street at War: The Secret Struggle for the Global Economy” by Alexandra Ouroussoff in Social Anthropology, 2012, volume 20, issue 4, pp. 507-508.


“Nature, Culture and Religion at the Crossroads of Asia,” (ed.) M. Lecomte-Tilouine in European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, 2011, Volume 34.


“The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development and the Practice of Politics,” by T. M. Li in Cambridge Anthropology, 2010, volume 28, Number 2.



Popular Media


What a ballot-rigging conspiracy theory says about India’s toxic political climate, The Conversation, Apr 2, 2017.

{Reproduced in Newsweek}


A High Court Ban on Killing Man-Eaters will Only Intensify Human-Animal Conflict in the Himalaya, Scroll.In, Jan 03, 2017.


'Colagate': Corruption, an Honest Bureaucrat, and a Deeper Malaise in India, The Conversation, August 23, 206. 

{This article was reproduced widely including in The WireThe Huffington PostThe London School of Economics BlogThe QuintThe British Academy blog}


Why Progressive Laws Produce Bizzare Results, Scoll.In, September 6, 2016


Climate Change Vs. Conspiracy Theory in India.” Open Democracy, September 14, 2015.


Discussion on ‘redefining poverty’Inside StoryAl Jazeera news channel, May 20, 2011.