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Ravi Baghel, Dr.


Ravi Baghel, Dr.



South Asia Institute
Im Neuenheimerfeld 330
Room 103
69120 Heidelberg

+49 (0) 6221 54 8928
+49 (0) 6221 54 4012

Über Ravi Baghel

Dr. Ravi Baghel is a Postdoctoral researcher in the project  Himalayan Glaciers, since 2013. He joined the Cluster in 2008 with a scholarship from the Graduate Programme of Transcultural Studies. His doctoral research under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Marcus Nüsser in Geography studied  the role of expert knowledge in human-environmental interactions, especially its role in the transformation of river systems into technological hydroscapes in South Asia. His dissertation analyzed  large scale river control projects in India within a framework of Foucauldian political ecology, in close cooperation with a research project on large dams. By examining the circulation of technological knowledge in the context of river control, his dissertation throws valuable light on the spatial, subjective and governmental dimensions of river control. A book on this research was published in 2014 by Springer.

He was awarded an M.A. in Social Sciences by the University of Freiburg, Germany and University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. His Masters studies had a focus on Globalisation as part of the Global Studies Programme. Dr. Baghel obtained a B.A. (Honours) degree in Chinese at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. 

He is an editor of Transcience- a journal of global studies which publishes peer reviewed open access articles focusing on globalization.

Since 2010, Dr. Baghel is also associated with the Earth System Governance Project (ESGP) as a Research Fellow. The ESGP is one of the six core projects of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP)

Dr Baghel's primary research interest lies in the area of environmental governance at the regional scale, with a focus on South Asia. Other related fields of interest include political geography of the Himalayan region and Political Ecology. These interests are reflected in his ongoing research on Himalayan Glaciers


Lebenslauf profile     Research Gate profile


  • Introduction to political ecologies. (Seminar). Winter 2010/11, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University.
  • Human-environmental interactions in South Asia. Winter 2013/14, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University.
  • Geography of knowledge: Spaces, flows and structures. Summer 2014, Cluster of Excellence: Asia & Europe, Heidelberg University.
  • Political Geography in the Anthropocene. Winter 2014/15. South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University.
  • Vorlesung: Einführung in die Allgemeine Humangeographie I Geographisches Entwicklungsforschung. (i.v. Prof. Marcus Nüsser) Winter 2014/15. Geography, Heidelberg University, Germany.


Participant in the Anthropocene Curriculum project.

Ausgewählte Publikationen

Google Scholar Author Page

Baghel, R. & Nüsser, M. (2015) Securing the heights: The vertical dimension of the Siachen conflict between India and Pakistan in the Eastern Karakoram. Political Geography 48: 24-36 . doi: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2015.05.001 LINK  PDF

Nüsser, M. & Baghel, R. (forthcoming) “Local knowledge and global concerns: Artificial glaciers as objects of environmental knowledge and development intervention”. In P. Meusburger (ed.) Ethnic and Cultural Dimensions of Knowledge; Series: Knowledge and Space. Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London and New York: Springer

Baghel, R. (2014) River control in India: Spatial, governmental and subjective dimensions. Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London & New York: Springer

Nüsser, M., & Baghel, R. (2014): The emergence of the cryoscape: contested narratives of Himalayan glacier dynamics and climate change. In B. Schuler (Ed.), Environmental and climate change in South and Southeast Asia: How are local cultures coping? (Climate and Culture Vol. 2) Leiden: Brill. pp. 138-156

Baghel, R. (2014) "Misplaced knowledge: Large dams as an anatopism in South Asia". In M. Nüsser (ed.) Large Dams: Contested Environments Between Technological Hydro-Scapes and Social Resistance; Series: Advances in Asian human-environmental research. Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London & New York: Springer

Baghel, R. (2013) Knowledge, power and the transformation of rivers: The spatial, governmental and subjective dimensions of river control in India. Ph. D. Dissertation. Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Baghel, R. (2012) Knowledge, power and the environment: Epistemologies of the Anthropocene. Transcience 3(1): 1-6 [Editor's introduction to the special issue]

Baghel, R. and M. Nüsser (2010). Discussing large dams in Asia after the World Commission on Dams: Is a political ecology approach the way forward? Water Alternatives  3(2): 231-248. Link to article

Baghel, R. (2010) Fear of crime in South Africa: Obsession, compulsion, disorder. Transcience 1(2): 71-84

Baghel, R. and A. Mayr (2007). "Glimpses through the cage of fear: International students experience Durban". In R. Pattman and S. Khan (eds.) Undressing Durban. Durban: Madiba Publishers, University of KwaZulu-Natal  

Conference presentations (selected)

2015 Künstliche Gletscher in Ladakh: Lokales Umweltwissen oder externe Entwicklungsintervention? Arbeitskreis Hochgebirge, 29-31 January 2015 Hamburg, Germany (Marcus Nüsser, Ravi Baghel und Susanne Schmidt)

2014 “Himalayan Glaciers: Endangered and Dangerous Cryoscapes of Knowledge” International Field Workshop, "Indian Waterscapes. Engineering Knowledge and Local Knowledge Systems" 13-15 February 2014. Jaipur India.

2014 The Siachen Glacier: 30 years of the coldest war in the Karakoram (poster) Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Vergleichende Hochgebirgsforschung und Arbeitskreis Hochgebirge Ressourcen der Gebirgsräume: Nutzung, Wandel, Bewertung 19 ‐ 22. Juni 2014 in Bern, Switzerland (Ravi Baghel & Marcus Nüsser)

2012 Price of change: expert activism against large dams in India. 2nd
International Workshop on Comparative Water Studies, 20-21 January
2012, Bonn, Germany

2011. Water flowing waste to the sea: Tracing a genealogy of the technocratic understanding of rivers in India. "Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting" (12-16 April 2011) Seattle, USA .

2011. Dissenting governmentalities: Expert opposition to the large scale transformation of river systems in India. "Colorado Conference on Earth Systems Governance: Crossing boundaries and building bridges" (17-20 May 2011) Ft. Collins, USA

2010. Session “Knowledge, Power and the Environment”. Session organized for “Power & Knowledge, 2nd International Conference” (September 6-8, 2010), Tampere, Finland.

2009. Large Dams in India & China: Potentials and Pitfalls of a 'Third World Political Ecology' Approach. Paper presented at “Seventh International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities” (2 to 5 June 2009), Beijing, China.

2008. Control in Information societies: From surveillance to diagnosis? Paper presented at the conference “Power: Forms, Dynamics and Consequences”( 22-24 September 2008), Tampere, Finland.