Dolly Daftary

Photo of Dolly Daftary
Dolly Daftary
Assistant Professor
(269) 387-8239
4410 Health and Human Services Building, Mail Stop 5354
Mailing address: 
School of Social Work
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5354 USA
  • Ph.D., Washington University
  • Graduate Certificate, New Institutional Social Sciences, Washington University
  • M.S.W., Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
  • B.A. (Honors), Economics, Delhi University

Dolly Daftary focuses on the political economy of development and the impact of social and economic change processes on resource-poor communities, with particular emphasis on the developing world. She investigates how institutions at the global, national and local levels interact to shape human well-being, self-making and social relations in a period of globalization. She conducts ethnographic fieldwork in India, which is her home, using a range of qualitative and quantitative methods.

Daftary's current work explores the impact of economic liberalization policies on semi-arid communities inhabited by the greatest proportion of the world’s poor, specifically market-driven development strategies, and democratic decentralization enacted closely on the heels of liberalization. She is studying how market-led approaches like microcredit and cash-crop production shape household well-being; and what a study of contemporary environment and development policy reveals about the nature and practices of the state, civil society and market.

She is also exploring the interaction between democratization and market-led development. Her work focuses on how grassroots democratic politics shapes the nature and pace of market-led development at geographic ‘margins’, and the way in which market-driven development impacts participation in democratic politics and the practices of elected local bodies. Her work is coalesced around issues of livelihoods, sustainability, identity, institutional change, democracy and natural resource governance. While South Asia is her regional focus, her interests include Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia and the United States. Her scholarship appears in Development and Change, the Journal of Development Studies, the Journal of International Development, the European Journal of Development Research and International Social Work, among others. Daftary teaches courses in social welfare policy and research methods.