Arianna Tozzi

Arianna Tozzi


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I am an environmental social scientist whose research sits at the intersection between feminist political ecology, science and technologies studies and environmental humanities 

My doctoral dissertation explores the history of technopolitical approaches to climate resiliency in rainfed regions of Maharashtra, India and how grassroots movements mobilise to construct more just agrarian futures in these semi-arid regions. Rainfed regions - where agriculture depends on the monsoon for its water needs – are at the epicentre of the Indian agrarian crisis and are increasingly the focus of interventions to tackle climate vulnerabilities. From large irrigation projects to decentralised watershed initiatives, policies aim to stabilise rainfed livelihoods by promoting a transition to an irrigated model of commercial agriculture. My research is motivated by the need to reimagine practices for climate resiliency that reflect the complexities of living in such rapidly transforming agrarian environments and does so by recentring the narrative from the standpoint of social movements.

Supported by the School of Environment, Education, and Development (SEED) scholarship at Manchester University and the RGS-IBG Postgraduate Research Award, I conducted archival research at the British Library in London, remote interviews with a network of activist and qualitative research in rainfed communities in Wardha, Maharashtra. Combining insights from historical political ecology, environmental humanities, and feminist theories of care, I trace the continuities of colonial knowledges guiding the current irrigation-led mentality for climate resiliency and suggest that reimagining the future of rain-fed drylands demands reframing policies from the perspective of the rainfall and its temporal dynamics. This work suggests ways in which climate resilient policies could be designed otherwise, and the role contemporary socio-ecological movements can play in this process. 

Prior to joining the University of Manchester, I worked in India for three years as a Researcher, collaborating with the University of Minnesota, Institute on the Environment. My work focused on analysing the long-term sustainability of decentralized solar energy systems. Beween 2015 and 2017, I worked as a Project Officer at The Climate Group in London, working on pojects around energy efficiency.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Master in Science, Sustainable Energy Technologies, Technische Universiteit Delft


Award Date: 14 Aug 2014

Bachelor of Science, Aerospace Engineering, Universita Degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza


Award Date: 14 Dec 2011

External positions

Researcher, University of Minnesota


Project Officer, Climate Group



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