Nikita Malik

Middle East political analyst | South Asia specialist | Oxbridge

Time spent working within banking and finance environments increased Nikita Malik’s interest in debt, and its power to constrain the freedom of individuals. She realised that the way in which freedom is recognized and utilized as a structure has effects on empirical reality, as well as considerable implications for the pursuit of human welfare. Her doctoral thesis revolves around defining and measuring ‘freedom’ in the South Asian labour market, paying particular attention to cases where social stratification limits agency and interaction. Her work focuses on the creation of a theoretical paradigm of freedom in the sense of a basic, deterministic perspective (Kuhn, 1962), and aims to strengthen the link between existing frameworks and data. As such, it is hoped that the way in which freedom evolves empirically can transform adopted concepts and systems. Nikita Malik is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge and a member of Darwin College, Cambridge.

Research/teaching interests

The recognition and utilisation of freedom as a structure, theoretical paradigms of freedom, pre-capitalist and capitalist social formations, feudal systems of patronage, ‘deproletarianisation’, decent work pilot programs, class and caste interactions, and the valuation of freedom in South Asia.


PhD University of Cambridge 2012-present
MSc University of Oxford, South Asian Studies, 2009-2010
BA (Hons) University of Oxford, Economics and Management, 2006-2009


Fluent in English, Spanish, and Hindi.