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Sengupta, Mitu



PhD (Political Science): Toronto




(416) 979-5000 x 4183

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Dr. Mitu Sengupta is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, and a full member of the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, where she is program faculty for the MA program in Immigration and Settlement Studies, the York and Ryerson joint MA/PhD Program in Communication and Culture, as well as the MA in Public Policy and Administration and the PhD in Policy Studies.

Dr. Sengupta has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, a Master of Arts in Political Science from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Arts (Joint Honours) in Political Science and Philosophy, also from McGill University. She has worked as a consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), an editorial writer in India, and a lecturer at the University of Toronto, York University, and the University of Guelph.

Research Interests:

Dr. Sengupta has published widely on Indian market liberalization and development, on labour and migration in India, and on the politics of sporting events and film. Her more recent work focuses on normative concerns in international development and international relations, including the quest to create universal development goals (such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals), efforts to reduce corruption and develop accountable institutions, and efforts to strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance. She is interested, in particular, in India’s interventions in global policy arenas, and their relationship to domestic policy debates and social movement discourses.

Selected Publications:

Forthcoming (all categories)

  • “Transformational Change or a Tenuous Wish List: A Critique of SDG-1?” Social Alternatives [Special issue on the Sustainable Development Goals, ed. Noha Shawki] (forthcoming).
  • “Post-Development.”  In Routledge Encyclopedia of Development Ethics, ed. Jay Drydyk and Lori Kelleher. New York: Routledge (forthcoming).
  • “What can human rights add to the fight against corruption? Some lessons from India.” In Discourse on Rights in India: Debates and Dilemmas, ed. Bijayalaxmi Nanda and Nupur Ray. New York: Routledge (forthcoming).



Book Chapters

Book Reviews

Popular Press & Blogs

I've written commentaries for a number of newspapers, magazines, and blogs, including the Guardian, Toronto Star, Kafila, Counterpunch, Dissent Magazine, Ryeberg Curated Video, and Frontline.  My contributions include the following:

  • Sensitivity framing is crucial in the classroom.” The Globe and Mail, 01 December 2017.
  • “Sustainable Development Goals: A Better Pact is Possible” [with Thomas Pogge (Yale)]. Featured Article. Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP): 10 August 2014.
  • “Why India Should Be a Leader in the Fight Against Illicit Financial Flows” (with Rohit Sinha). Centre for Development and Human Rights (CDHR), New Delhi, India. Rights & Development Bulletin 7:3 (July-September 2013): 10-12.
  • Memo to the UN: Accountability is the key to effective development goals” [with Thomas Pogge (Yale)]. The Guardian (Poverty Matters Blog), 20 August 2013.
  • “Big Holes in the SDG Draft” [with Gabrielle Köhler (UNRISD Visiting Fellow, Geneva) and Thomas Pogge (Yale)]. CROP Poverty Brief (August 2014): 1-3. [Published by the CROP, Mobilizing Critical Research for Preventing and Eradicating Poverty].
  • Black Money flows: Time for Global Action.” The Pioneer (New Delhi, India), 27 July 2013, p. 9.
  • “Naming the Seven Billionth Child,”, November 5, 2011
  • Anna Hazare and the Gandhian Ideal,” Dissent Magazine, 23 August 2011.
    • reprinted on, 30 August 2011.
  • A Tale of Two India’s: Twenty Years of Liberalization,” Dissent Magazine, 15 August 2011.
  • “India’s World Class Heist,” Counterpunch, 8 August 2011
  • “India’s Easy Villains,” Monthly Review’s MRZine, 04 May 2011.
  • “Arjun Sengupta: A Daughter's Tribute,” The Asian Age, 15 October 2010, p. 14.
  • “Mud, Hubris, and Malevolent Urban Change: India’s Commonwealth Games,” Canadian Dimension 44:6 (November/December 2010): 14-17.
  • “The Price of Being World Class,” Counterpunch, 30 July - 01 August 2010.
  • “The 2010 Commonwealth Games: Delhi’s Worrying Transformation, Monthly Review’s MRZine, 19 July 2010.
  • “Sex, the City and American Patriotism,” Counterpunch, 18-21 June 2010 (Weekend Edition)
  • “On Slums: Towards a Change in Perspective.” Rights and Development Bulletin - Centre for Development and Human Rights, New Delhi, India 1:16 (February-May 2010): 4-6.
  • Avatar: Race Relations Light Years from Earth,” Ryeberg, curated video, 01 February 2010.
  • “Bombs, Bombshells, and Bollywood,” Ryeberg, curated video, 25 June 2009.
  • “The Bloodbath in Sri Lanka: Why Battering the Tamil Tigers Won’t Bring Peace,” Counterpunch, 27 April 2009.
    • reprinted in Ryerson Free Press, May 2009, p. 13
    • reprinted in La Estrella (Panama).
  • “Hollow Message: Slumdog Millionaire,” Frontline: India’s National Magazine 26:6 (14-16 March 2009).
  • “The World Bank’s Reforms: Different Image, Same Tune?” Monthly Review’s MRZine, 11 March 2009.
    • reprinted in Mainstream XLVII:44 (17 October 2009)
  • “Slumdog Millionaire’s Troubling Policy Implications,” The Toronto Star, 21 February 2009.
  • “What Mumbai Means,” This Magazine, 5 December 2008.
  • “The Challenge of Our Century: Recognizing the Rights of Migrant Workers in Rich Democracies.” Rights and Development Bulletin - Centre for Development and Human Rights, New Delhi, India 1:3 (April 2007): 4-7.
  • “Lagaan’s Oscar Hopes,” The Hindustan Times, 15 January 2002.

Professional Affiliations:

Dr. Sengupta is a senior visiting fellow at the Institute for Human Development, New Delhi, India, and Global Coordinator for the Centre for Development and Human Rights (CDHR), New Delhi, India. She is a member of the International Development Ethics Association (IDEA) and the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA). At the HDCA, she is a co-coordinator of the Ethics and Development thematic group. Dr. Sengupta is also on the advisory board of Springer's new book series: Philosophy and Poverty. Previously, she was a director of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP), an international professional network, anchored at Yale University.

Spoken Languages:

English, Hindi, Bengali