Center for Environmental Policy and Administration

Farhana Sultana

Associate Professor of Geography

Contact Information

Office:115 Eggers
Web Page:Available here
Email:sultanaf at

Brief Biography

Farhana Sultana received her BA (Honors) in Geosciences and Environmental Studies from Princeton University, graduating Cum Laude in 1996. She received her MA (1998) and PhD (2007) in Geography from the University of Minnesota, where she was a MacArthur Scholar and an International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Fellow. She has been a Programme Officer at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (1998-2001), a Visiting Fellow at the School of Environment and Development at the University of Manchester (2005-2006), and a Lecturer in the Geography Department at King's College London (2006-2008). She joined the Department of Geography at Syracuse in Fall 2008.

Sultana's research focuses on nature-society relationships, political ecology, development geography, feminist theories, and water resources management. Her recent work has primarily focused on the gender, class, and policy implications of water management in Bangladesh, with an emphasis on drinking water problems from arsenic contamination of groundwater. She is interested in the ways that discourses of participation, community, and gender equity operate in water management, and in development more broadly and the implications development discourses have on the ground. She analyzes the ways that water management espouses such narratives, and the ways that complications arise from agencies of both humans and nature in such discourses and practices. A main thrust of the research is to understand the processes by which marginalization, inequalities, and power relations operate in the context of socio-ecological change and development endeavors. 

Sultana's broader interests are in gender, environment, and development issues in the global South, and ways by which development and privatization of natural resources affect men and women of different social strata across sites and scales.  She is also interested in issues of political ecology of development as conceptualized and enacted by large international/multi-national entities, and the ways by which such conceptualizations interact with local understandings of ‘environmental management’ or ‘development’. In this respect, she is interested in environmental governance and the politics of knowledge production, whereby discursive and material realities co-produce and challenge projects and practices. Methodologically, Farhana is interested in both quantitative and qualitative methods, with particular interest in issues of fieldwork, positionality and power relations, and research ethics.

Environmental Research Areas

  • Environment and Development
  • Environmental Governance
  • Political Ecology
  • South Asia
  • Transnational Environmental Issues and Processes
  • Water

Environmental Courses

Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 07/20/2012 07:28:16