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Mitu Sengupta

EducationPhD (Political Science): Toronto
Phone(416) 979-5000 x 554183

Spoken Languages

English, Hindi, Bengali


Dr. Madhura-Mitu Sengupta is Full Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration, and a member of the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, at Ryerson University. She is program faculty for 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.

Mitu has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto (with specialization in Comparative Politics and Political Theory), a Master of Arts in Political Science from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy, also from McGill University. Prior to moving to Canada for her undergraduate studies, Mitu lived in the US, UK, and India. She is fluent in English, Hindi, and Bengali.

Articles, Books, and Book Chapters

Book Reviews

  • Review, external link of Global Justice and Development by Julian Culp (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014): 215 pp.  Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19:4 (2016): 1065-1067.
  • Review, external link of Understanding India's New Political Economy: A Great Transformation? by Sanjay Ruparelia, Sanjay Reddy, John Harris and Stuart Corbridge (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2011): 269 pp. Contemporary South Asia 22:1 (Jan 2014): 108-109.
  • Review, external link of Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercityby Katherine Boo. (New York: Random House, 2012): 288 pp. Dissent (09 May 2012).
  • Review, external link of South Asia: Rising to the Challenge of Globalization by Pradumna B. Rana and J. Malcolm Dowling (Singapore: World Scientific, 2009): 257 pp. Pacific Affairs 83:4 (December 2010): 813-14.
  • Review, external link of India's Middle Class: New Forms of Urban Leisure, Consumption and Prosperity by Christiane Brosius (New Delhi: Routledge, 2010): 404pp. Biblio: A Review of Books XV: 3-4 (March-April 2010): 8-9.

Op-eds and Other Scholarly Work

  • Cancer patients face new challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, external link” (with Asit Arora). Observer Research Foundation – Health Express, 09 May 2020.
  • Sensitivity framing is crucial in the classroom, external link.” 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.
  •  “Memo to the UN: Accountability is the key to effective development goals, external link” [with Thomas Pogge (Yale)]. The Guardian (Poverty Matters Blog), 20 August 2013.
  • “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.
  • “Black Money flows: Time for Global Action.” The Pioneer (New Delhi, India), 27 July 2013, p. 9.
  • “India’s Easy Villains: Why the Indian Government’s Concessions on Corruption will Achieve Very Little,” Monthly Review’s MRZine, 13 July 2013.
  • “¿Podemos tener objetivos de verdad, por favor? Por qué las alternativas propuestas para reemplazar a los Objetivos de Desarrollo Del Milenio no tendrían éxito” (con Thomas Pogge). Dilemata: Revista Internacional de Éticas Aplicadas 5:13 (2013): 167-169.
  • “Bihar: A Report on the Global Summit on Changing Bihar, 2012.” Indian Journal of Human Development 6:1 (2012): 119-125.
  • “India’s ‘New Gandhi,’ the Left and Democracy.” State of Nature (Autumn 2011): Democracy.
  • “Naming the Seven Billionth Child,”, November 5, 2011
  • “India’s World Class Heist,” Counterpunch, 8 August 2011
  • “Arjun Sengupta: A Daughter's Tribute,” The Asian Age, 15 October 2010, p. 14.
  • “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.” Centre for Development and Human Rights (CDHR), New Delhi, India. Rights & Development Bulletin 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 Left’s Electoral Debacle in India.” Relay: A Socialist Project Review 26 (April-June 2009): 55-58.
  • The Bloodbath in Sri Lanka: Why Battering the Tamil Tigers Won’t Bring Peace, external link,” 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).
  • Slumdog Millionaire’s Troubling Policy Implications, external link,” 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.” Centre for Development and Human Rights (CDHR), New Delhi, India. Rights & Development Bulletin 1:3 (April 2007): 4-7.
  • “Lagaan’s Oscar Hopes,” The Hindustan Times, 15 January 2002.

Mitu 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 research engages with the fields of international development, international relations, and political philosophy. It is focused, in particular, on the policy implications and practical consequences of different normative assumptions about development, and on the politics of norm creation in international development.  Mitu is working on a number of topics in this vein, such as the creation and implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the evolution and operationalization of human-rights based approaches in international development and international relations; and a book-length project on the shifting normative foundations of India’s economic policy and development strategy.

Mitu is a member of the Human Development and Capabilities Association, external link (HDCA), the International Development Ethics Association (IDEA), and the International Studies Association, external link (ISA), and is on the advisory board of Springer’s Philosophy and Poverty book series. She was a director of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP), a network of poverty-focused academics anchored at Yale University’s Global Justice Program, external link, from 2012 to 2016, and a director for the Centre for Development and Human Rights (CDHR), a New Delhi-based research and advocacy group, from 2010 to 2017. Mitu has held visiting scholar appointments at several prestigious institutions in India, including Jawaharlal Nehru University, external link (JNU), the Institute of Economic Growth, external link (IEG), and the Institute of Human Development, external link (IHD). She is currently a Visiting Professor at the Council for Social Development, external link (CSD) and a Senior Adjunct Fellow at Research and Information System for Developing Countries, external link (RIS).

The undergraduate courses she regularly teaches at Ryerson include POG323 (Politics of Development) and POL128 (Politics and Film).