Neethi P

Senior Consultant – Academics & Research | neethip at iihs dot ac dot in

2013    PhD, Economics Centre for Development Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University Delhi NCR, India
2007    MPhil, Applied Economics Centre for Development Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University Delhi NCR,


2004    MA, Economics Dr John Matthai Centre, Calicut University Calicut, Kerala, India


Countries: India, United States
States: Karnataka, Kerala
Cities: Bangalore, Trivandrum, Cochin, Ahmedabad
Languages: English, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam

Neethi P’s research and teaching interests broadly pertain to urban employment, with a focus on labour informality. Striving to understand the nuances of everyday labour relations, she focuses on women informal workers and various forms and responses from upcoming alternative labour associations, exploring intersections of caste, class, gender and urbanity, within informal work. Over a decade or so, her research has covered sectors including garment, electronics, ports, home-based work, street vendors, sanitation workers, mill workers and sex workers.


Her research encompasses issues such as labour–management relations, recruitment strategies, labour control mechanisms, labour response mechanisms, labour–technology relations, emerging forms of labour movements and the formation of alternative labour organisations/associations. While addressing these concerns, Neethi’s approach moves away from economic orthodoxy and borrows from sociological, anthropological, ethnographic and critical geography approaches.


Apart from a string of international peer-reviewed journal articles and opinion pieces, Neethi has authored Globalization Lived Locally: A Labour Geography Perspective, published by Oxford University Press in 2016 and co-authored Urban Undesirables: City Transition and Street-Based Sex Work in Bangalore published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. She is part of the International Advisory Board of Antipode; the Asia representative of the International Sociological Association (ISA) and Editorial Board Member of Global Labour Journal (GLJ) and Urbanisation. Neethi is an Advisory Member of the Karnataka Labour Policy Committee, 2024.


Prior to joining IIHS, Neethi was Assistant Professor at the School of Development, Azim Premji University for over five years. For her doctoral work in this field, she was awarded a Fulbright Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Georgia for a year.


  • Work, Labour, and Informality in the Urban, Work, Urban Employment / Informality, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Urban Economy, Economics, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS


  • Neethi, P., & Kamath, A. (2022). Urban undesirables: City transition and street-based sex work in Bangalore. Cambridge University Press.
  • Neethi, P. (2016). Globalization lived locally: A labour geography perspective. Oxford, UK.: Oxford University Press.


Journal Articles

  • Neethi, P., & Rao, D. (2023). Memory, identity and deindustrialization: Reflections from bygone mill‐scapes of Bangalore, India. Development and Change.
  • Kamath, A., & Neethi, P. (2021). Disappearing spaces and betraying allies: Urban transition and street-based sex work in Bangalore. Globalizations.
  • Kamath, A., & Neethi, P. (2021). Body politics and the politics of technology: Technological experiences among street-based sex workers in Bangalore. Gender, Technology and Development, 25(3), 294-310.
  • Neethi, P. (2020). New revanchism and the urban undesirables: Street-based sex workers of Bangalore. City: Analysis of Urban Change, Theory, Action, 24(5-6), 759-777.
  • Neethi, P., Kamath, A., & Paul, A. M. (2019). Everyday place making through social capital among street vendors at Manek Chowk, Gujarat, India. Space and Culture.
  • Neethi, P. (2014). Home-based work and issues of gender and space. Economic and Political Weekly, 49(17), 88-96.
  • Neethi, P. (2012). Globalization lived locally: Investigating Kerala’s local labour control regimes. Development and Change, 43(6), 1239-1263.
  • Padmanabhan, N. (2012). Globalisation lived locally: A labour geography perspective on control, conflict and response among workers in Kerala. Antipode, 44(3), 971-992.
  • Neethi, P. (2008). Contract work in the organised manufacturing sector: A disaggregated analysis of trends and their implications. Indian Journal of Labour Economics, 51(4), 559-573.


Book chapters

  • Neethi P. (forthcoming) ‘Issues of space and gender in home-based work: a case from Kerala, India’ in Andrew Herod (Ed.) International Handbook of Labour Geography, Edward Elagar
  • Neethi P. and Kamath, A. (forthcoming) ‘Urban Transition and Street-Based Sex Work in Bangalore, India’ in Lars Meier (Eds.) International Handbook of Urban Sociology , Routledge
  • Neethi P. and Kamath, A. (forthcoming) ‘Turbulent Transformation and Urban Undesirables: Revanchist Urban Transition and Street-Based Sex Work in Bangalore in Thomas Coggin and Rupa Madhavan (Eds.) Contested Urban Spaces: Urbanisation, Law and Informal Work, Routledge
  • Neethi, P., Kamath, A., & Mundra, S. (2020). A technological panacea for women garbage collectors. In A. Kamath (Ed.)., The social context of technological experiences: Three studies from India (pp. 116-140). Routledge.
  • Neethi, P. (2016) Labour control and responses: women workers in an apparel park in Kerala. In S. Raju & S. Jatrana (Eds.), Women workers in urban India (pp. 228-255). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Other Writing

  • Kamath, A., & Neethi, P. (2021). Re-imagining urban spaces and reconfiguring human ecology street-based sex workers as urban Pseudoinvisibles in Bangalore City. In Urban imaginaries 2021: IIHS annual research conference proceedings (pp. 99 -103).  Indian Institute for Human Settlements.
  • Panel Speaker, Webinar on ‘Is female participation in the workforce the reason for declining birthrates’, Economics, Politics and Society interest group of IIM- Kozhikode, October 2021
  • Co-presented (virtual) a Paper titled ‘Body Politics and Politics of Technology: Technological Experiences of among Street-Based Sex Workers in Bangalore’ , Annual Meeting of Society for Social Studies of Science (4s) , organised from Toronto, October 2021
  • Co-presented (virtual) a Paper titled ‘Urban Transition and Street-based Sex Work in Bangalore’, ASA- RC 21, organised from Antwerp, July 2021
  • Panel speaker, Global Webinar on The Impact of COVID-19 on Informal Workers: What can we learn, Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI), South Africa, April 2021
  • Panel speaker, Webcast on Electronics Manufacturing: China and India in the Spotlight, Can Electronics be Made Socially Sustainable?  Asia Society, Switzerland, April 2021
  • Invited speaker for the techniques in qualitative research, Centre for Equity Studies at New Delhi, November 2017
  • Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong, March 2017
  • Panellist on Women Work and Employment, 15th National Conference of Women’s Studies, Chennai, January 2017
  • Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore 6th October 2016
  • Institute of Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore, 21st April 2016
  • Department of Geography Colloquium Series, University of Georgia, 30th March 2012
  • Department of Sociology Colloquium Series, University of Georgia, 23rd March 2012
  • Department of Development Sociology Colloquium, Cornell University 27th February 2012
  • ILR Workshop Series, Cornell University 28th February 2012
  • Department of Geography Colloquium Series, University of Minnesota 17th February 2012
  • Summer Institute in Economic Geography, Vancouver, Canada 27th June – 2nd July 2010
  • Global Issues and Local Challenges to Development Dept. of Economics, Central University of Kerala 23rd-24th April 2010
  • SEWA Round Table on Women’s Labour, Women, and Work, 7th-8th March 2009, at CDS, Trivandrum
  • International Conference on Employment Opportunities and Public Employment Policy in Globalising India, 3rd-5th April 2008, at CDS, Trivandrum.
  • Research Methods in Labour Economics, September 2006, at VV Giri National Labour Institute, Noida.
  • Spatialising Climate Impacts on Health: A Focus on Vulnerable
  • Settlements in Megacities of the Global South, Wellcome Trust (2024-2027)
  • Chief Minister of Rajasthan’s Economic Transformation Advisory Council (CMRETAC): Urban Transitions
  • PEAK Urban
  • Mindscapes: Mental Health at the Margins, Wellcome Trust
  • PEAK Urban: Mapping Bangalore’s Industrial Transformation