Dinesh Paudel, Ph.D.

Research & Teaching Interests: 

Political economy, international development, political ecology, economic geography, subaltern social movements, identity politics, indigeneity, climate change, Asian capitalism, agroecological transformations, qualitative methods, South Asia, Himalayas


  • PhD, Department of Geography, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, USA
  • MS, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK
  • BS, Institute of Forestry, Tribhuvan University, Nepal


  • SD 2700 Development Theory and Practice
  • SD 3375 Community Economies and Sustainable Development
  • SD 3543 Environment and Development in the Global South
  • SD 4401 Applications in Sustainable Development


Dinesh Paudel is an Associate Professor in the Sustainable Development Department at Appalachian State University. Before coming to Appalachian, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Geography at Dartmouth College. He received his PhD in Geography from the University of Minnesota in 2012 where he studied the historical connections between international development programs and the rise of Maoist uprisings in Nepal. Broadly, he is interested in understanding how development discourses originate and travel, and how they articulate with economic, ecological and political processes at multiple scales. One of his current research projects focuses in exploring the inherent relationships and complex entanglements between the rising Asian economies, growing environmental degradations and rapidly expanding infrastructure in the Himalaya.

Representative Publications:

2021 Himalayan BRI: an infrastructural conjuncture and shifting development in Nepal, Area Development and Policy, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/23792949.2021.1961592 

2021 Nepal’s growing dependency on food imports: A threat to national sovereignty and ways forward, Nepal Public Policy Review, Vol 1 https://nppr.org.np/index.php/journal/article/view/10 (Coauthored) 

2021 The new cold war and the rise of the 21st-century infrastructure state, The Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12480 (Coauthored)

2021 (Forthcoming) Deliberate Transformation of Environmental Governance in the Global South: CriticalAction Intellectuals and Fields of Possibilities, Sustainability Science (Coauthored)

2021 (Forthcoming – Book chapter) “Himalayan geopolitical competition and the agency of the infrastructure state in Nepal”, The Rise of Infrastructure State: How US-China Rivalry Shapes Politics and Place Worldwide (Coauthored)

2020 Effectiveness of community forest user groups (CFUGs) in responding to the2015 earthquakes and COVID-19 in Nepal, Research in Globalization, Vol 2 (Coauthored), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resglo.2020.100025

2020 State-community relations and deliberative politics within federal forest governance in Nepal, International Forestry Review, 22(3) (Coauthored), https://doi.org/10.1505/146554820830405609 

2020 Decolonizing Development: An Agenda for Nepal Geographies, Studies in Nepali History and Society 25(1): 209–224 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342926986_DECOLONIZING_DEVELOPMENT_AN_AGENDA_FOR_NEPAL_GEOGRAPHIES 

2020 Introduction to Special Issue: Nepal Geographies, Studies in Nepali History and Society 25(1): 3–14 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342009985_Introduction_to_Special_Issue_NEPAL_GEOGRAPHIES 

2020 Earthquakes and Cashflows: Households and Disaster Financialization in Post-earthquake Nepal, Development and Change (with Philippe Le Billon and others) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/dech.12603 

2020 Lucrative Disaster: Financialization, Accumulation and the Post-earthquake Reconstruction in Nepal, Economic Geography, (co-authored with Katharine Rankin and Philippe Le Billon) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00130095.2020.1722635 

2019 Governance: Key for Environmental Sustainability in the Hindu-Kush Himalaya, in theHindu-Kush Himalaya Assessment: Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability and People, ICIMOD, a regional study of the Himalayan Environment, Springer Open – book chapter 

2019 “Community Forestry and Sustainability in Nepal”, in Nightingale, A., T. Bohler and B. Campbell (eds), Environment and Sustainability in a Globalizing World, Routledge – book chapter https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332879159_Community_Forestry_and_Sustainability_in_Nepal 

2018 Geo-logics of power: Disaster capitalism, Himalayan materialities, and the geopolitical economy of reconstruction in post-earthquake Nepal, Geopolitics (with Philippe LeBillon) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14650045.2018.1533818 

2018 Recovery and adaptation after the 2015 Nepal earthquakes: a smallholder household perspective. Ecology and Society 23(1): 29 (co-authored article) https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-09909-230129 

2017 “The rise of nationalist capitalism and the future of imperialism,” Human Geography, 10 (2), pp. 82-86 (Coauthored) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316257824_The_Rise_of_Nationalist_Capitalism_and_the_Future_of_Imperialism 

2017 Prismatic Village: the margin at the centre in Nepal’s Maoist revolution, Critical Sociology, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920517708340 

2017 “The Global Geopolitics of Disaster: The Case of the Nepali Floods” Common Dreams, November 2 2017 (Coauthored with G. Reck) (https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/11/02/global-geopolitics-disaster-case-nepali-floods

2017 “The US, climate change and the farmers of Nepal”, Al Jazeera, Sept 14 2017 (with G. Reck) (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/09/climate-change-farmers-nepal-170902090539045.html )

2016 “Introduction”, Special Issue on Forests, Cold Mountain Review, Fall 2016, Vol 45, No 1 (Guest Editing of the Journal’s Special Issue)

2016 The Double Life of Development: Empowerment, USAID and the Maoist Uprising in Nepal, Development and Change, 47 (5) pp. 1025–1050 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dech.12262/full 

2016 Reinventing the Commons: Community Forestry as Accumulation Without Dispossession in Nepal, The Journal of Peasant Studies, 43 (5) pp. 989-1009http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03066150.2015.1130700

2016 Ethnic Peasantry and Identity Politics in Nepal: liberation from, or restitution of, elite interest, Asian Ethnicity, 17 (4) pp. 548-565 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14631369.2016.1179567

2016 Brewing disaster in post-earthquake Nepal”, Anthropology News, September 27 2016 (co-authored with G. Reck) http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2016/09/27/brewing-disaster-in-post-earthquake-nepal/

2016 Can Evidence and Voice Influence Policy? A Critical Assessment of Nepal's Forestry Sector Strategy – 2014, Society and Natural Resources, 29 (3) pp. 357-373 (co-authored with H. Ojha and others)

2015 A New Development Technology? South Asian Biometrics and the Promise of State Security and Economic Opportunity, Geography Compass, 9 (10) p. 539-549 (co-authored with J. Fluri and P. Jackson). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gec3.12230/abstract 

2013 Gramsci at the Margins: A Pre-History of the Maoist Movement in Nepal, in (eds) Ekers M, Hart G, Kipfer S, and Loftus A, Gramsci: Space, Nature, Politics. London: Wiley-Blackwell, p.258-278 (co-authored with Vinay Gidwani) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/291862432_Gramsci_at_the_Margins_A_Prehistory_of_the_Maoist_Movement_in_Nepal 

2012 In Search of Alternatives: Pro-poor Entrepreneurship in Community Forestry, Journal of Development Studies, 48 (11), pp.1649-1664. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220388.2012.716152 

2010 Corpo-bureaucratizing Community Forestry: Commercialization and Increased Financial Transaction in CFUGs in Nepal, Journal of Forest and Livelihoods, 9 (1), pp. 1-15 (co-authored with D. Khatri). http://www.nepjol.info/nepal/index.php/JFL/article/view/8587 

2005 The influence of NGO involvement on local people’s perception of forest management: a case study of community forestry in Nepal, The Japanese Forest Society and Springer, Vol. 10, Verlag Tokyo (co-authored with I. Kasumi and others)


Department: Sustainable Development

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