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Dr Jagannath Ambagudia

Associate Professor , Guwahati campus

Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies , School of Social Sciences and Humanities

M.A., M. Phil., Ph. D. in Political Science (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)

Jagannath Ambagudia is Associate Professor at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Chairperson, Unit for Research and Development, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati Campus. Previously, he taught at Rajdhani College, University of Delhi; National Law School of India University, Bangalore and ARSD College, University of Delhi. 

He is the author of Adivasis, Migrants and the State in India (London and New York: Routledge). This book looks at the contested relationship between Adivasis or the indigenous peoples, migrants and the state in India. It delves into the nature and dynamics of competition and resource conflicts between the Adivasis and the migrants. Drawing on the ground experiences of the Dandakaranya Project – when Bengali migrants from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) were rehabilitated in eastern and central India – the author traces the connection between resource scarcity and the emergence of Naxalite politics in the region in tandem with the key role played by the state. He critically examines the way in which conflicts between these groups emerged and interacted, were shaped and realised through acts and agencies of various kinds, as well as their socio-economic, cultural and political implications. The book explores the contexts and reasons that have led to the dispossession, deprivation and marginalisation of Adivasis.

Along  with Prof. Virginius Xaxa, he has been working on the edited volume, Handbook of Tribal Politics in India (New Delhi: Sage Publication), which aims to cover tribal politics both at the national and state levels

Advanced Praise for Adivasis, Migrants and the State in India


‘This well-researched and well-written book addresses the seminal issue of rehabilitation of migrants that has confronted the Indian State since independence. Taking the example of the Dandakaranya Project, under which East Bengal migrants were rehabilitated in eastern India, it shows how this impacted on the Adivasis of the region, triggering competition and conflict between communities over access and control over scarce resources. The study provides an excellent exploration of the relationship between the state and migrants, how group conflicts emerge, their socio-economic and cultural repercussions, resulting in domination and political marginalisation of the Adivasis as also triggering Naxalite activity in Odisha. An excellent addition to migration studies, the book will provide a framework for future research on this continuing challenge.’ Sudha Pai, Former National Fellow, Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi; Former Rector (Pro-Vice Chancellor) and Professor, Centre for Political Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

‘A much-needed exposition of the conflict over resources between Bengali migrants and native Adivasis in central and eastern India, and the state’s role in further marginalising the Adivasis.’ Alpa Shah, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK

Jagannath's research primarily investigates the different dynamics of Adivasi (Indigenous) society, especially Adivasi politics, every day experiences of inclusive policies of the state, development and deprivation, social discrimination and marginalisation, preferential treatment, distributive justice, their relationship with other communities in the context of resource utilisation in India. Though his research essentially focuses on Adivasi issues, he is also interested in migration studies, policy studies, democracy and development etc.


1. Adivasis, Migrants and the State in India, London and New York: Routledge, 2019.


Journal Articles

1. “Scheduled Tribes, Reserved Constituencies and Political Reservation in India”, Journal of Social Inclusion Studies, 5(1), 2019, pp. 44-58.

2. “Adivasis, Preferential Policy and the State in Odisha”, Social Change, 49(2), 2019, pp. 199-215.

3. "Doing Political Science Differently: Experiences from an Institute of Social Sciences", Studies in Indian Politics, 5(1), 2017, pp. 67-72.

4. "On the Edge of Scarcity: Understanding Contemporary Community Conflicts in Odisha, India", Conflict Studies Quarterly, 10, 2015, pp. 41-55.

5. “Scheduled Tribes and the Politics of Inclusion in India”, Asian Social Work and Policy Review, 5(1), 2011,  pp. 33-43.

6.“Tribal Rights, Dispossession and the State in Orissa”, Economic and Political Weekly, 45(33), 2010, pp. 60-67.



Chapters in Edited Volume

1. "Regime of Marginalisation and Sites of Protest: Understanding Adivasi Movement in Odisha, India" in John Synott, Heather Devere and Kelli TeMaiharoa (eds.), Peacebuilding and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Experiences and Strategies for the 21st Century,  Springer International, 2017, pp. 155-165.

2. "Scheduled Tribes and the Land Question: The Root of Discontent and Protest in Scheduled Areas of Odisha" in Yatindra Sigh Sisodia and Tapas Kumar Dalapati (eds.), Development and Discontent in Tribal India, Jaipur: Rawat Publications, 2015, pp. 34-52.

3. “Combating Social Exclusion in Education: Re-Examining the ‘Inclusive’ Framework” in Yagati China Rao and Sudhakar Karakati (eds.), Exclusion and Discrimination: Concepts, Perspectives and Challenges, New Delhi: Kanishka Publishers and Distributors, 2010, pp. 272-292.

4.  “Development or Destitution: Rethinking Tribal-State Relationship in Orissa” in Debal K. SinghRoy (ed.), Interrogating Social Development: Global Perspectives and Local Initiatives, New Delhi: Manohar Publishers and Distributors, 2010, pp. 239-267.

1. Scheduled Tribes and Democracy: Role of Tribals MPs in Indian Parliament, sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi (2018- 2020, Major Research Project). 

The Project  explores the nature of participation in parliamentary debates by the tribal MPs belonging to various political parties and independent MPs, especially in the context of bills related Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, Forest Rights Act and Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act. Further, it explores the role of tribal MPs in various parliamentary committees set up to address tribal issues. It analyses the nature of participation by the tribal and non-tribal MPs in parliamentary debates on tribal issues.

1. BC02: Social Theory and Research (Compulsory Course, M. Phil. in Social Sciences)

2. TC01: Democracy, Rights and Tribes in India (Thematic/Optional Course, M. Phil. in Social Sciences)

3. PaCS01: Studying Conflict (M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies)

4. PaCS12: Conflict Resolution-I (M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies)

5. CD6: Contemporary Politics in India  (M.A. in Social Work with Specialisation in Community Organisation and Development Practice)

6. LSSP22: Corporate Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility and Labour (M.A. in Labour Studies and Social Protection)

7.IC3: Development (B.A. in Social Sciences)



Email: jagannath.ambagudia[at]tiss[dot]edu

Dr. Jagannath Ambagudia

Associate Professor

Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies

School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Guwahati Campus

Tetelia Road



Assam, India