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Personal profile

Academic Background

I have an MSc and PhD in Development Studies from London University's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).


I am a political economist/political sociologist focusing on labour and class relations. My research analyses processes of accumulation, exploitation, and resistance through a focus on rural-based labour, circular migration, state-society relations, government poverty reduction programmes, pro-labouring class government regulations, and organisations of the labouring class. In other words it assesses how class relations are modified by the state and collective action, and by broader processes of agrarian change and social and economic development.

Areas of teaching, research and PhD supervision: state-society relations; state anti-poverty programmes and social protection; social movements and civil society; labour relations and agrarian change.


Before joining the School of International Development in 2008, I taught International Political Economy and Development Studies at SOAS, and was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Mysore in Karnataka, South India. I have also worked at the Institute of Development Studies (University of Sussex) and was active in an international social movement network from 1999-2004.

Key Research Interests and Expertise

Labour; Class Relations; Agrarian Change; Social Movements, Social Policy;  India.

Research Groups: Politics, Governance and the State



  • Pattenden, J(2016). Labour, State and Society in Rural India: A Class-Relational Approach, Manchester University Press.




  • Pattenden, J, (2016) ‘Working at the Margins of Global Production Networks: Local Labour Control Regimes and Rural-based Labourers in South India’, Third World Quarterly 37 (10).




  • Campling, L, Miyamura, S, Pattenden, J and Selwyn, B (2016) ‘The Class Dynamics of Development: A Methodological Note’, Third World Quarterly 37 (10).




  • Pattenden, J (2015). Class Relations and Social Policy: the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Karnataka, India, Journal of Agrarian Change (published in early view, August 2015. Expected publication September 2016).




  • Pattenden, J (2012) ‘Migrating Between Rural Raichur and Boomtown Bangalore: Class Relations and the Circulation of Labour in South India’ in Global Labour Journal 3(1):163-190.




  • Pattenden, J (2011a) ‘Gatekeeping as Accumulation and Domination: Decentralisation and Class Relations in Rural South India’ in Journal of Agrarian Change 11(2):164-194.




  • Pattenden J (2011b) ‘Social Protection and Class Relations: Evidence from Scheduled Caste Women’s Associations in Rural South India’ in Development and Change 42(2):469-498.




  • Pattenden, J (2010) ‘A Neoliberalisation of Civil Society? Self-Help Groups and the Labouring Class Poor’ in Journal of Peasant Studies 37(3): 485-509.


  • Pattenden, J (2011c). ‘Forced Labor. Coercion and Exploitation in the Private Economy – Edited by B. Andrees and P. Belser’ (review) in Journal of Agrarian Change 11(3):447-9.

  • Pattenden, J (2011d). ‘Inclusion and Exclusion in Local Governance: Field Studies from Rural India’ edited by B.S. Baviskar and G. Mathew (eds.) (review) New Delhi, Thousand Oaks, London, and Singapore: Sage, in Journal of South Asian Development 6(2):233-248.

  • Pattenden J (2010b) ‘Jeffrey S. Juris, Networking Futures: The Movements Against Corporate Globalization’, (review) in Journal of International Migration and Integration 11(4):461-463.


Recent Conference Papers and Seminar Presentations

Pattenden, Jonathan. Working at the Margins of Global Production Networks: Invisible Labour in India’s Construction Sector and the Struggle against Informality, Development Studies Association, University of Bath, 7-8 September 2015.

Pattenden, J, 2014. ‘Classes of Labour in Karnataka, India’. Contemporary South Asia Seminar Series, Queen Elizabeth, Oxford University.


Pattenden, J, 2014. ‘Classes of Labour and Changing Dynamics of Accumulation and Exploitation in Rural Karnataka’ at the International seminar on Agrarian Transition in India at Pondycherry University, 28-30th January 2014.


Pattenden, J 2013. ‘Dynamics Determinations: A Class-Relational Approach to Social Policy in India’ at the 10th Annual Historical Materialism Conference Making the World Working Class, 7-10th November 2013, SOAS, University of London.


Pattenden, J (2012), 'Class Compromise or Class Conflict: A Comparison of NREGS Outcomes in two North Karnataka Districts' at British Academy/University of Sussex workshop 'Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Critical Explorations of Implementation and Impact', University of Sussex, 29th of June 2012.

Pattenden, J ‘Circular Migration through boomtown Bangalore: Labor, Capital, Social Protection, and the State’ at Yale Workshop on ‘New Questions Concerning Land in India’. Yale University, New Haven, 27-29th April 2012

Pattenden, J, ‘Anti-Poverty Resources and Class Relations: Collective Action by Landless Madiga Women in Rural South India’, 25th Conference of the British Association of South Asian Studies, University of Southampton, 11-13th April 2011.


Pattenden, J, ‘Agricultural Labour in Boomtown Bangalore: Labour Circulation and Class Relations’, Development Studies Seminar Series, SOAS (University of London), 25th January 2011.


Pattenden, J, ‘The Circulation of Labour between the Agricultural and Construction Sectors in Karnataka, South India’, ECMSAS Conference, Bonn, July 2010.


Pattenden, J, ‘Class Equations and Accumulation in Rural North Karnataka’, Journal of Agrarian Change Seminar Series, SOAS, February 2009.


Co-convenor, panel on ‘Social Movements and Social Movement Networks: Symbolic Acts or Transformative Processes?’ at 19th Conference of the European Association of South Asian Studies, Leiden, June 2006.


Pattenden, J (2006), ‘The Karnataka State Farmers Association and the Political Economy of Domination and Resistance in South India’ at the 19th Conference of the European Association for South Asian Studies, Leiden, June 2006.

Teaching Interests

Co-Director: Masters in Development Studies

Courses taught and convened:

Public Policy and Welfare
Politics and International Development
South Asian Development
Introduction to Development Studies
Development Work Experience

Contemporary World Development
Perspectives on Globalisation


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or