I am Professor of Political Economy of Sustainable Development at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam. My doctoral education was at the University of Cambridge. I was a post-doctoral lecturer at the University of Chicago. I have held the Keyman Family Visiting Professorship at Northwestern University and I am Adjunct Professor at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. I am the Chair of the Editorial Board of Development and Change.


Situated firmly within development studies and informed by political ecology, heterodox economics, social theory, and agrarian political economy, my work focuses on the tensions between nature, capitalism, and emancipatory socio-economic change.  

Recent papers:

Arsel, Murat, Lorenzo Pellegrini, and Carlos Mena. (2019). “Maria’s Paradox: Oil Extraction and

the Misery of Missing Development Alternatives in the Ecuadorian Amazon.” In Immiserizing

Growth: When Growth Fails the Poor, edited by Ravi Kanbur, Richard Sandbrook, and Paul

Shaffer. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Orta-Martínez, M., Pellegrini, L., & Arsel, M. (2018). “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”? The conflict imperative and the slow fight against environmental injustice in northern Peruvian Amazon. Ecology and Society, 23(3).


Adaman, F., Arsel, M., & Akbulut, B. (2018). Neoliberal developmentalism, authoritarian populism, and extractivism in the countryside: the Soma mining disaster in Turkey. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 1-23.