Sangeeta Kamat
Professional Interests: 
Globalization and education reform; Critical theory; Gender analysis; South Asia


B.A., Sophia College, Bombay, India, 1985
M.A., The Tata Institute of Social Science, Bombay, India, 1988
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1998.


My scholarly and practical work has been inspired by the extraordinary work of numerous community based organizations in India, and other parts of the Third World. Their tireless efforts to articulate an alternative discourse of development have informed my research questions and methods. During my undergraduate and graduate years in India, I was fortunate to work with, and learn from, a remarkable array of community based organizations that worked both in the urban slums of Bombay and in the neighboring rural districts of the region. I worked in non-formal education programs related to health and other social issues with women and youth in these communities. These experiences have had a lasting impact upon me, and have continued to shape my research work in the U.S. 


My dissertation research developed out of one of the enduring debates of our times that has deep implications for the future of community based organizations - what is the role of civil society organizations in constituting development programs and policies; what should be their role; in what ways does this transform the state as we know it; how does a rapidly developing "third sector" re-envision democratic societies? These questions have direct implications for policy making in the field of international development. 


In my more recent work, I have broadened the focus of these questions to study policy reforms in international education and their implications for the changing relations between state and civil society. My interest is to analyze the construction of new discourses through these reforms - discourses that pertain to citizenship, nationalism, and other global and local identities. 


Research Interests

  • The impact of globalization on education - policies, actors, practices, institutions.
  • Analyzing education discourse in an anthropological framework - as cultural production of persons, groups, communities.
  • Ethnographies of educational policy making.
  • Feminist research and discourse analysis.
  • Gender issues in Development Education and Social Movements.