© 2018

Sustainability Conflicts in Coastal India

Hazards, Changing Climate and Development Discourses in the Sundarbans


  • Provides diverse empirical evidence on disaster risks, climate change adaptation, policy discourses and sustainability governance to deconstruct them. Analyses over 900 media reports, three-decade long socio-economic data and presents over 50 visuals from actual disaster situations

  • Simulates actual socio-ecological scenarios of sustainable development and climate change adaptation, unpacking the entire breadth of entanglements spread across spatial scales, probably for the first time

  • Identifies knowledge gaps, knowledge-actions gaps, barriers and synergies to sustainable development in the Global South. Constructs a framework to facilitate co-production of knowledge and reflexivity by hybridising the socio-cultural with the techno-scientific


Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. ‘Devil’ in the Deep Blue Sea?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Aditya Ghosh
      Pages 3-33
  3. Digging Deep: Evidence and Empiricism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 67-67
    2. Aditya Ghosh
      Pages 85-125
  4. Joining the Isles

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 215-215
    2. Aditya Ghosh
      Pages 217-237
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 239-245

About this book


This multidisciplinary work analyses challenges to sustainable development amidst rapidly changing climate in the world’s largest delta – the Sundarbans. Empirical evidence unpacks grounded vulnerabilities and reveals their temporal socio-economic impacts. A novel concept of ‘everyday disasters’ is proposed – supported by data and photographic evidence – that contests institutional disaster definition. Then it uncovers how the geopolitics of ecological governance and its hegemonic discourse dominate local policies, which in turn fail to address local socio-ecological concerns, adaptation needs and development aspirations. Absence of local vocabularies, cognitive values and socio-cultural contexts along with spatially constricted, exclusionary, top-down techno-science approaches further escalate knowledge-action gaps. Deconstruction of multiscalar conflicts between the global rhetoric and transformative postcolonial geographies offers an ethical, Southern perspective of sustainability.


Sustainable development in India Climate change adaptation Disaster risk reduction Resilience Indian Sundarbans

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Ethics and Transdisciplinary Sustainability ResearchLeuphana University of LüneburgLüneburg, Lower SaxonyGermany

About the authors

Aditya Ghosh graduated with a PhD from the University of Heidelberg and has studied at the University of Sussex, University of Calcutta, University of Mumbai, and the University of Lincoln. Aditya specializes in sustainable development, climate change and socio-ecological systems.

Bibliographic information