Shailaja Fennell is Professor of Regional Transformation and Economic Security in the Department of Land Economy. She obtained her B.A, M. A. and M.Phil. in Economics from Delhi University, before coming to the University of Cambridge to obtain another M.Phil. and then her PhD. in Economics at the Faculty of Economics. She is a fellow of Jesus College, and also Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies.
Her research interests include institutional reform and regional transformation. She has a particular focus on national and local decision making, rural development and agricultural sustainability; youth migration and employment aspirations; provision of public goods in the spheres of education and health.
Shailaja was the global lead on an ASEAN funded project (2019-2021), and with her core Cambridge-based team was responsible for designing the framework, commissioning over 50 global experts and compiling the latest research to deliver the first ASEAN Development Outlook, a publication that focused on policies to ensure inclusion and sustainability in South-East Asia. https://asean.org/book/asean-development-outlook/
Shailaja is also PI on the Ecologies in Place project, Philomathia Programme of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the PI on the British Council Climate Connections programme. Her role on these projects is to mentor and support and managing Early Career Researchers to digitally record evidence of climate change and to document climate change actions by communities in the Global South. The outputs of the projects are part of the collaborative knowledge work of the Consortium of the Global South within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The outputs will also contribute to UK's Climate Connections programme (originally created as part of COP26 actions).
Shailaja teaches a module on final year Tripos paper (Paper 17: a course on Land Polocy and Development Economics. I also teach one full module the M.Phil. programme (PGR04: Institutions and Development) and contribute to teaching on another (PGR05: Place-Based Policy).
Shailaja is the lead social scientist on the NERC funded grant (£10 million) awarded to the University of Cambridge. The grant has led to the establishment of the Centre for Landscape Regeneration to host a research programme that aims to provide the knowledge and tools to deliver successful landscape regeneration programmes in the United Kingdom (with fieldsites in the peatlands of the Fenlands, Cairngorms and Cumbria) by ensuring strong connections between research, policy and practice and developing solutions that are resilient, inclusive, and sustainable. Shailaja is also PI on the Ecologies in Place project, Philomathia Programme of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the PI on the British Council Climate Connections programme. Her role on these projects is to mentor and support and managing Early Career Researchers to digitally record evidence of climate change and to document climate change actions by communities in the Global South. The outputs of the projects are part of the collaborative knowledge work of the Consortium of the Global South within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The outputs will also contribute to UK's Climate Connections programme (originally created as part of COP26 actions).
2020 Anand P.B., S. Fennell and F. Comim (eds.) The Handbook of BRICS and Emerging Economies, New York: Oxford University Press. 1184 pages.
2022 Sidebottom, R., S. Wassie, C. Cerami, M. Jallow, S. Fennell, and S. Dalzell, A longitudinal investigation of dietary diversity during the Covid-19 pandemic in Mandinka households in Kanifing, Brikama and the West Kiang region in The Gambia., Frontiers in Nutrition, DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2022.907969.
2022 Fennell, S., Building on Bandung: What does Cooperation do for Regional Engagement, Asian Journal of Peacekeeping, 10, 1, 87-106.
2022 Branch, A., F. Agyeib J. Gai, A. Apecu, A. Bartlett, E. Brownell, M. Caravani, C. Cavanagh, S. Fennell, S. Langole, M. Mabele, T. Mwampamba, M. Njenga, A. Owor, J. Phillips, N. Tiitmamer, From crisis to context: Reviewing the future of sustainable charcoal in Africa, Energy Research and Social Science, 87, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2021.102457
2022 Yu, P., S. Fennell, Y. Chen, H. Liu, L. Xu, J. Pan, S. Bai and S. Gu, Positive impacts of farmland fragmentation on agricultural production efficiency in Qilu Lake watershed: Implications for appropriate scale management, Land Use Policy, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2022.106108
2021 The Concept of Economic Resilience and Implications for National Planning in the U.K, Global Issues of Public Affairs, Korean Institute of Public Affairs. 84-96.
2021 Bhangaonkar, R., and S. Fennell, Role of knowledge in the management of groundwater-use for irrigation in micro-watersheds of semi-arid India, International Journal of Water Resources Development, DOI: 10.1080/07900627.2021.1921710
2020 Pan, J., Y. Chen, Y. Zhang, M. Chen, S. Fennell, B. Luan, F. Wang, D. Meng, Y. Liu, L. Jiao, and J. Wang, Spatial-temporal dynamics of grain yield and the potential driving factors at the county level in China, Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 255, 10 May 2020, 1203-12
Chapters in Books
2021 Fennell, S., Youth Employment, Informality and Precarity in the Global South, in Swartz, S., A. Cooper, C. Batan, and L. Kropff Causa (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies, ISBN: 9780190930028.
2021 Fennell, S., Poverty in South Asia: An Intellectual History, in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190277727.013.308
2020 Fennell, S., Women, law and collective action: Examining negotiations to claim gender rights in China and India, in Anand P.B., S. Fennell and F. Comim (eds.) The Handbook of BRICS and Emerging Economies, New York: Oxford University Press,
2019 Fennell, S., ‘Process and Outcomes: Participation and Empowerment in a Multidimensional Poverty Framework, in Clark, D., M. Biggeri and A. Frediani (eds.) The Capability Approach, Empowerment and Participation, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 125-154.
S. Fennell (with M. Tanwir), Not Accepting Abuse as the Norm: local forms of institutional reform to improve reporting on domestic violence in Punjab, Journal of International Women’s Studies, Volume 20, 7 , (2019)
Fennell, S., Malthus, Statistics and the State of Indian Agriculture, in Malthusian Moments, in Basford, A., D. Kelly and S. Fennell, (eds.) Malthusian Moments, Special Issue, The Historical Journal, (2019).
Comim, F., S. Fennell and P. B. Anand. (eds.) New Frontiers of the Capability Approach, Cambridge University Press, (2018).
Gao, Y. and Fennell, S., (eds.) China’s Urban-Rural Inequality in the Countryside, Springer, (2018)
Fennell, S., P. Kaur, A. Jhunjhunwala, D. Narayanan, A. Charles, J. Bedi and Y. Singh, Examining Linkages between Smart Villages and Smart Cities: Learning from rural youth accessing the internet in India, Telecommunications Policy, 42, 10, 810-823, (2018)
Royo Olid, J., and S. Fennell (eds.) Building, Owning and Belonging: From assisting owner driven housing reconstruction & co-production in Sri Lanka, India and Beyond. EU Commission and UN Habitat, (2017).
Gao, Y., and S. Fennell, The Role of Tunqin Guanxi in North China: A Case from Qingang, China Quarterly, (2017)
Fennell, S. (with R. Malik), Donors, Private Actors and Contracts: Recasting the Making and Ownership of Education Policy in Pakistan, in Verger, T., C. Lubienski and G. Steiner-Khamsi, (eds.) World Yearbook of Education 2016: The Global Education Industry, Routledge, New York. (2015)
Fennell, S. Development in Transition: Lessons from Central and South Asia, in Hasmath, R., eds. Inclusive Growth,
Fennell, S. (with D. Clark) Democratic Freedoms, Capabilities and Public Provision: A Defence and Some Possible Extensions, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities: A Multi-Disciplinary Journal for People-Centered Development, 15:4, 437-447, DOI: 10.1080/19452829.2014.967524 (2014)
Fennell, S. Public-Private Partnerships in Education and the Pursuit of Gender Equality: A View from South Asia. Development Policy Review, 5.3: http://poldev.revues.org/1798 ; DOI : 10.4000/poldev.1798, (2014)
Fennell, S. Policy Debate: Education and Employment Mismatch, Development Policy Review, (2014),
Fennell, S., (with O. Ulybina) Forest Certification in Russia: Challenges of Institutional Development, Ecological Economics,95, Pages 178–187 (2013)
Fennell, S. (with D. Clark and T. van Gevelt) Evidence Based Policy, Institutional Change and Poverty Impact, World Bank Institute Capacity and Results, World Bank, (2013),
Fennell, S., (with P. Srivastava and C. Noronha), Private sector study: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Report submitted to DFID (India), (2013),
Fennell, S., A. Kaur and A. Singh, India and the Eurozone: A Commentary on the Political Economy of Adjustment and Correction, Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, 32 (1), 151-167, (2013)
Fennell, S., Low Fee Private Schools in Pakistan: A Blessing or a Bane? In Srivastava, P., ed. Low-Fee Private Schooling: aggravating equity or mitigating disadvantage? Symposium Books, 2013, (2013)
Fennell, S., Government Policy and Distribution of Grain: Revisiting the Reform of Agricultural Institutions in China and India, in Bagchi and D’Costa, (eds.) Transformation and Development: The Political Economy of Transition in India and China, Oxford University Press, 2012, 16 pages. (2012)
Fennell, S., Why Girls’ Education rather than gender equality? The strange political economy of PPPs in Pakistan, in Roberston, S. L., K. Munday, A. Verger and F. Menashy (eds) Public Private Partnerships in Education: New Actors and Modes of Governance in a Globalising World, Edward Elgar, 259-276. (2012).
Fennell, S. Malik, R. Agleby, G. and R., Akaazba, Changing forms of provision and impact on schooling outcomes in Ghana and Pakistan in C. Colclough (ed.) Education Outcomes and Poverty: A Reassessment. Routledge, 119-137. (2012)
Fennell, S., and R., Malik, Between a Rock and a Hard Place: the emerging educational market for the poor in Pakistan, Comparative Education. 48, 2, 249-261, (2012)
Educational Exclusion and Inclusive Development in India, in Saez, L., and G. Singh (eds.) New Dimensions of Politics in India: the United Progressive Alliance in power, Routledge, 39-52. (2014)
Fennell, S., Contested Notions of Water, No. 626, Special Issue of Seminar, October 2011. Available on the Seminar website at http://www.india-seminar.com/2011/626/626_shailaja_fennell.htm, (2011)
Fennell, S., Rules, rubrics and riches: the interrelations between legal reform and international development (2010), Routledge;
Gender Education and Equality in a Global Context: conceptual frameworks and policy perspectives (ed. with M. Arnot, 2008); Routledge.
Her latest publication on rural-urban transformations in China has just been published by Springer
Current PhD students
Shruti Dhaundiyal, Environmental Impact Assessment of Hydroelectric Dams in the Himalayas in India.
Joseph Zhao, The Urban-ness of Rural-Urban Migrants in Different Tier of Cities: A Case Study of the Greater Bay Area of China
Elisapeththu Hoole, Towards a Feminist Green Revolution: Optimizing policy conditions for women as commercial agents under the framework of climate change.
Tizar Bijkasana, An Investigation of Governance and the Role of Middlemen in the Indonesian Economy.
Recent PhD students
Ravin Ponniah, National Policy and Local Lives: A case of Urban Social Housing in Multiethnic Malaysia, Cambridge Malaysia Scholarship holder, 2017, Entrepreneur and Architect.
Arosha Gunasekhara, Microfinance and Gender Empowerment in Sri Lanka, completed 2014, Social Entrepreneur.
Arparporn Sumrit, Rice-Liberalisation and Gender Politics in Vietnam, completed 2011, Gender Expert at ASEAN.
Gideon Agbley, Education and Social Mobility in Ghana, Cambridge Trust Scholar, completed 2011. Associate Professor, University of Development Studies, Tamale.
Aisha Anees Malik, Negotiating between British and Shariah Law among British-Pakistani women, Cambridge Trust Scholar, completed 2010, Assistant Professor, Gender Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan.
Maryam Tanwir, Bureaucracy in Pakistan, Cambridge Trust Scholar, completed 2010, Independent Consultant
Olga Ulybina, Forestry and Institutional Politics in Russia, Cambridge Trust Scholar, completed 2010, Independent Consultant.
Yan Gao, Rural Migration and Local Policy in Heilongjiang, China, completed 2010. Associate Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.
Hsiao Chan, Research and Development in Host Countries in the IT sector in China, completed 2009. Associate Professor, Department of Management Science, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan.
Jennifer Hsu, Migrants and Civil Society Initiatives in Beijing and Shanghai, Cambridge Trust Scholar, completed, 2009, Research Fellow, Lowy Institute, Sydney.
Mirza Jahani. Civil Society Initiatives in Tajikistan, completed, 2009. Agha Khan Foundation
Claudio Santibanez. Poverty and Capability Analysis: case study of Chile, Chilean government scholarship holder, Completed 2009. Senior Consultant, UNICEF.
Nitya Mohan, Decentralisation and Health Outcomes in India, Cambridge Trusts scholar, completed 2008. Independent Consultant.
Cassandra Sweet, Bilateral Trade in Pharmaceuticals between India and Brazil, Gates Scholar, completed, 2008, Senior Consultant, United Nations.
Solava Ibrahim, Capability Poverty in Egypt, Cambridge Trusts Scholar, completed 2008. Senior Lecturer in Politics, Anglia Ruskin University
Maria Fernanda Garcia Rincon, Reproducing informality : interaction between street vendors and the state in Caracas, Venezuela, completed 2007, Senior Partnerships Officer, Inter American Development Bank.
Maleeha Aslam, Gender and Islam in Pakistan, Cambridge Trusts Scholar, Completed, 2007. Independent Consultant.
Food and Development, Biodiversity and Conservation, Climate and Energy