Marie-Hélène ZERAH

Marie-Hélène ZERAH


Marie – Hélène Zérah is a Research Director with the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD). She holds a Ph.D. and a HDR (Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches) in Urban Studies. She was the head of the urban dynamics research team in the Centre de Sciences Humaines of New Delhi between 2009 and 2013. She has worked extensively in the area of urban infrastructure, urban governance, and urban democracy in Indian cities. She was the coordinator (with E. Denis) a research project focused on the role of small towns in the urbanization process. Her more recent research focus revolved around data-driven Urbanism and Smart Cities, and the question of urban energy governance.

Her book publications include a recent volume at Editions de l’Aube (Quand l’Inde s’urbanise –, a book on the question of water access in Delhi, the co-edition of a volume on the Right to the City in India. In 2017, she also co-edited a volume on Subaltern Urbanisation in India. She is part of the editorial board of Geoforum and the Series Editor of Exploring Urban Change in South Asia with Springer (

  • Zérah Marie – Hélène. 2020. “Quand l’Inde s’urbanise. Services essentiels et paradoxes d’un urbanisme bricolé”. La Tour d’Aigues: Editions de l’Aube, 320 p.
  • Zérah Marie – Hélène (2020), “The incomplete and paradoxical ‘neoliberal’ turn in Mumbai”, in Labbé Daniel, Sorensen André (eds.), Handbook of Megacities and Megacity-Regions (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar), 119-33.
  • Mukhopadhyay Partha, Zérah Marie-Hélène, Denis Eric (2020), “Subaltern Urbanization: Indian Insights for Urban Theory”, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 44 (4), 582-98.
  • Denis Eric, Zérah Marie – Hélène (Eds.). 2017. “Subaltern Urbanisation in India: An Introduction to the Dynamics of Ordinary Towns”. Berlin: Springer 614 p.
  • Zérah Marie – Hélène, Dupont Véronique, Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal (Eds.). 2011. “Urban Policies and the Right to the City in India: Rights, Responsibilities and Citizenship”. Delhi: UNESCO and Centre de Sciences Humaines, 180 p

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