- PhD - Political Science, Duke University 1992
- MA - Political Science, Duke University 1988
- MBA - Development Administration and Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, 1985
- BA - History, University of Delhi, 1983 
Some of Agrawal's work has been published in journals such as Science, Conservation Biology, World Development, and PNAS. In a publication in Nature, Agrawal explores the positive side of disaster in his case study of a 1998 hurricane in Honduras. According to Agrawal, natural disasters like this set the stage for alternative social trajectories.
His best known book is Environmentality: Technologies of Government and the Making of Subjects, published in 2005.
Previously published books included Greener Pastures: Politics, Markets, and Community Among a Migrant Pastoral People, (1999) and Decentralization in Nepal: A Comparative Analysis (1998).
- "Arun Agrawal (in Environmentality) provides a most lucid account of the people-government- forest interplay in the 20th century Kumaon Himalayas in this book.... Arun Agrawal addresses these fascinating questions on the basis, not only of archival research, but significantly, on the strength of extensive long-term fieldwork."—The Hindu
- "This book (Environmentality) aims to promote Arun Agrawal's own neologism - "environmentality" ... This book, too, has hidden its worthwhile arguments in thickets of verbal profusion, which make it hard to see the teak for the forest."--The Times Higher Education
- 2001: Agrarian Environments: Resources, Representations and Rule in India. Duke University Press, Durham, ISBN 0-8223-2555-1
- 2001: Social Nature: Resources, Representations and Rule in India. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, ISBN 0-19-565460-9
- 2001: Communities and the Environment: Ethnicity, Gender, and the State in Community-Based Conservation. Rutgers University Press, Piscataway, ISBN 0-8135-2914-X
- 2003: Regional Modernities: The Cultural Politics of Development in India. Stanford University Press, Palo Alto, ISBN 0-8047-4415-7
- "CV Arun Agrawal" (PDF). Retrieved March 2013.
- http://snre.umich.edu/profile/arunagra Retrieved 20 November 2011
- Agrawal, Arun (May 19, 2011). "Economics: A positive side of disaster". Nature 473: 291–292. doi:10.1038/473291a.
- Agrawal, Arun (2005). Environmentality: Technologies of Government and the Making of Subjects. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-3480-1.
- Gadgil, Madhav (December 12, 2006). "Modernity and Nature". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Chapman, Graham (September 1, 2006). "If only we could see the teak for the trees". The Times Higher Education. Retrieved 16 July 2012.