Dr George Kunnath

Dr George Kunnath

Associate Professor (Education) and Lifelong Engagement Lead

International Inequalities Institute

Room No
CBG 12.04
Bhojpuri, English, Hindi, Malayalam, Spanish
Key Expertise
Inequality, Peacebuilding, Social Theory, Qualitative Methodologies

About me

George Kunnath is Associate Professor (Education) and Lifelong Engagement Lead for the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity (AFSEE) programme at the International Inequalities Institute (III). He is a core team member of the Politics of Inequality Research programme at III. His research examines the relationality of inequality, conflict and peacebuilding in the Global South, particularly focusing on the intersectionality of race, caste, class, gender and ethnicity. George’s interests also include research ethics, social theory and non-extractive research methods. Trained as a social anthropologist, George has conducted extensive ethnographic research among Dalit and Adivasi communities living amidst Maoist insurgency and counterinsurgency in India and communities and organisations committed to peacebuilding in Colombia. 

Currently George is engaged in two research projects on the peace process in Colombia where as Principal Investigator, he works with a team of academics and practitioners.  The first project, supported by the Atlantic Equity Challenge (AEQ) Fellowship from the AFSEE programme, examines the implementation of the gender commitments of the Colombian Peace Agreement of 2016 between the FARC guerrillas and the state. This project develops a model for a more effective implementation by bringing into focus the voices of Indigenous, Afro-Colombian and peasant women, female ex-combatants and LGBTQ+ collectives. The second project funded by the Knowledge Exchange and Impact (KEI) Integrated Service at LSE is dedicated to organising capacity building programmes for women and LGBTQ+ people affected by the Colombian armed conflict.

Alongside the research in Colombia, George is also part of a collaborative project led by Professor Mike Savage that investigates the racial wealth divide among various ethnic groups in the UK. As part of this project, George’s research primarily explores the role of caste, class and ethnicity in the wealth disparities among the South Asian diasporas in Britain.

George received his PhD in Social Anthropology from SOAS, University of London. He held research fellowships at Goldsmiths College (University of London) and Wolfson College (University of Oxford) and visiting fellowships at Asia Culture Centre in Gwangju (South Korea), Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and Universidad Icesi in Cali (Colombia). He worked as Lecturer of Modern Indian Studies at the University of Oxford, where he also served as Director of Graduate Studies for Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme. George has over 17 years of experience of teaching and mentoring undergraduate and postgraduate students at SOAS, Goldsmiths College, University of Oxford and LSE. 

George welcomes enquiries from potential PhD students who are interested in pursuing research on topics related to his expertise.



Kunnath, G.J. Rebels from the Mud Houses: Dalits and the Making of the Maoist Revolution in Bihar. London: Routledge, 2017 (First published by Social Science Press, Delhi, 2012).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Kunnath, G.J. “Janathana Sarkar (people’s government): Rebel Governance and Agency of the Poor in India’s Maoist Guerrilla Zones.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power(published online: 24 May 2021 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1070289X.2021.1928981?src=

Kunnath, G.J. “Doni the Anthropologist's Dog: A Scent of Ethnographic Fieldwork.” Anthropology Now (published online: 30 Apr 2021 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19428200.2020.1884482

Kunnath, G.J. “Sanskritization: The Inheritance of an Ideational Category”. In S. Jodhka & J. Naudet (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Caste in Contemporary Times. New Delhi: Oxford University Press (Forthcoming).

Kunnath, G.J. “The ‘Child Comrades’ of India’s Maoist Movement: Narratives of Resistance and Resilience.” Gwangju: Asia Culture Centre Publication (Forthcoming).

Kunnath, G.J. “Dalit Responses to the Caste System: Rethinking Resistance”. In S. Murru & A. Polese (eds). Resistances: Between Theories and the Field. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2020.

Kunnath, G.J. “Caste and Social (Dis)Integration: Exploring Theoretical Transitions”. In C. Kim and R. Kumar (eds). Great Transition in India: Critical Explorations. Singapore: World Scientific, 2020.

Kunnath, G.J. “Anthropology’s Ethical Dilemmas: Reflections from the Maoist Fields of India.” Current Anthropology,54 /6 (2013): 740-752.

Kunnath, G.J. “Compliance or Defiance: The case of Dalits and Mahadalits.” Journal of Anthropological Society of Oxford, 5/1 (2013): 36-59.

Kunnath, G.J. ‘Smouldering Dalit Fires in Bihar, India.’ In A. Shah and J. Pettigrew (eds). Windows into a Revolution: Ethnographies of Maoism in South Asia, pp. 89-112. Delhi: Social Science Press, 2011. (Republication of the article from Dialectical Anthropology)

Kunnath, G.J. “Smouldering Dalit Fires in Bihar, India.” Dialectical Anthropology, 33/3 (2009): 309-325.

Kunnath, G.J. “Becoming a Naxalite in Rural Bihar: Class Struggle and its Contradictions.” The Journal of Peasant Studies, 33/1 (2006): 89-23.

Kunnath, G.J. “Under the Shadow of Guns: Negotiating the Flaming Fields of Caste/Class War in Bihar, India.” Anthropology Matters, 6/2 (2004): 1-12.