Fall 2012 Lavanya holds master’s degrees in Public Administration and Sociology from Madras University in Chennai and Indira Gandhi National Open University in New Delhi, respectively, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Political Science at the Institute for Social and Economic Change. She has recently begun research on her dissertation, entitled “Decentralization, Governance, and Forest Resource Management: A Study in the State of Tamilnadu, India.” The dissertation hopes to answer the question, ‘How best can forest resources be managed?’ To do so the focus of the study is on the decentralized institutions of forest resource management created by the state, NGOs, as well as the forest resource users themselves. She is using the views of the forest dwellers and resource users themselves to answer the research question.

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