Professor Tirthankar Roy

Professor Tirthankar Roy

Professor in Economic History

Department of Economic History

+44 (0)20 7955 6248
Room No
SAR 6.16
Office Hours
Tuesday 3.30-5.00pm. In person. Book via Student Hub
Connect with me

Bengali, English, Hindi
Key Expertise
South Asia, global history, empires

About me

I teach South Asia and Global History at the LSE, and am the author of India in the World Economy from Antiquity to the Present, besides other books and articles. My work on economic history tries to answer three questions. Is there a long-term pattern in Indian capitalism? When did the big breaks occur in that pattern? Does history help us understand how capitalism in India works today?

My recent publications include Law and the Economy in Colonial India (with Anand V. Swamy, University of Chicago Press, 2016). The book discusses the diverse influences that shaped British Indian law and shows why it delivered rather poor value to the users. Currently in press, The Economy of South Asia from 1950 to the Present (Palgrave, 2017) explores the historical roots of rapid economic growth in the region, with reference to politics, markets, resources, and the world economy. The first systematic economic history of modern South Asia, the book offers a new interpretation on why the region is changing so fast, and what that means for the world. My ongoing projects include a sequel to Law and the Economy (with Anand Swamy) dealing with post-independence India.

Research interests

History and development of South Asia, global history, empires, environmental history


EH307 The Economic History of South Asia, 1600-2000

EH404 India and the World Economy

EH421 Economic History of Colonialism, with Dr Leigh Gardner

EH479,EH480EH481EH491EH496-7EH498EH499 MSc Dissertations


View Professor Roy's CV here: Tirthankar Roy CV [PDF]

Expertise Details

Artisans and industrialization; economic history of South Asia; global history; historical methods; music history; textiles; empires; environmental history

Selected Publications

Water and Development: The Troubled Economic History of the Arid Tropics (Oxford University Press) In press

Monsoon Economies: India's History in a Changing Climate, MIT Press, 2023

Law and the Economy in a Young Democracy with Anand V. Swamy, University of Chicago Press, 2022

The Economic History of Colonialism, with Leigh Gardner, Bristol University Press, 2020.

Law and the Economy in colonial India, with Anand V. Swamy,  University of Chicago Press, 2016

The Crafts and Capitalism: Handloom Weaving Industry in Colonial India, New Delhi and Abingdon: Routledge, 2020.

Climate and the Economy in India from 1850 to the present, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, accepted.

The Rise of the West and Other Stories, Journal of World History, 30(1-2), 2019, 280-90.

Transfer of Economic Power in Corporate Calcutta 1950-1970, Business History Review, 91(1), 2017, 3-29.

Reassessing FERA: Examining British Firms’ Strategic Responses to ‘Indianisation’, with Michael Aldous, Business History, early-view on the journal website.