Professor of Urban Planning and Social Welfare
Luskin School of Public Affairs
Director, Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin

On day one of teaching her first UCLA course, “Democracy and Inequality,” award-winning scholar, author and teacher Ananya Roy wasted no time getting right to a key point. Prof. Roy wanted to convey to students that “unprecedented forms of income inequality currently afoot in the United States have been produced through policies.” She describes her course as “taking up the case of persistent inequality in liberal democracies,” as well as covering key frameworks and methodologies for understanding and analyzing poverty and inequality. “The good news is these forms of inequality can also be challenged and tackled.”

Prof. Roy’s research and published writings are global in nature, including an examination of the city of Calcutta, research on the “global South” (especially India, Brazil and South Africa), and an analysis of Oakland, California, where she lived for many years.

Research Focus

Multifaceted program of research, training and public scholarship concerned with both the current moment of inequality and long histories of oppression and marginalization.


Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning, UC Berkeley
M.A. UC Berkeley
B.A. Mills College
Joined UCLA faculty in 2015

Selected Publications

  • Roy, Ananya, Kweku Opoku-Agyemang, Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales, and Clare Talwalker, Encountering Poverty. University of California Press. 2016.
  • Roy, Ananya and Emma Shaw Crane, eds. Territories of Poverty: Rethinking North and South. University of Georgia Press, Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation Series. 2015.

Learn More

It is important for us to recognize that various forms of inequality, be it income inequality or racial inequality, have been constructed and maintained.