Dr. Michael Liebig at the Symbiosis International Relations Conference

Dr. Michael Liebig addressed the Symbiosis International Relations Conference, which was held on 21 December 2018 in Pune, India. The subject of his talk was 'The Kautilyan Roots of Indian Strategic Culture'.

Dr. Bernhard Beitelmair-Berini on ‘India-China Relations in the Indo-Pacific - India's Competing Grand Strategic Perspectives’

Dr. Bernhard Beitelmair-Berini presented a paper on ‘India-China Relations in the Indo-Pacific - India's Competing Grand Strategic Perspectives’ employing the ‘subculture-cleavage model on grand strategic thought’ at the conference on ‘India and China in the Indo-Pacific Region: A New Balance of Power’, which took place in Warsaw on November 23rd, 2018. The conference was organized by the Institute of International Relations, Faculty of Political Science and International Studies in cooperation with Centre for Europe, University of Warsaw, Sichuan University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Manipal Academy of Higher Academy and Heidelberg University.

Prof. Rahul Mukherji at the Annual Meeting of the Indian Association of Asia Pacific Studies

On 1st November, Prof. Rahul Mukherji delivered the keynote address for the two-day Annual Meeting of the Indian Association of Asia Pacific Studies held at the Centre for Research on Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) in Chandigarh, India. The session was inaugurated by Professor Partha Ghosh, the president of the Association, Mr. Rashpal Malhotra, the Executive Vice Chairman of CRRID, and Dr. Peter Rimmele – Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s country Director in Delhi. Dr. Wolfgang Peter Zingel of the South Asia Institute also presented a paper during the meeting in Chandigarh.

Vortrag 'New Issues in the Caste-based Reservations in India' von Prof. K.C. Suri, University of Hyderabad, am 3. Dezember (Montag), 16-18 Uhr am SAI in Raum 317. Siehe Details hier.

Vortrag 'Capturing Institutional Change: The Case of the Right to Information Act in India' von Dr. Himanshu Jha, Universität Heidelberg, am 26. November (Montag), 16-18 Uhr am SAI in Raum 317. Siehe Details hier.

International workshop 'Democratizing Governance in India: a facet of aspirational polity'

On 2nd and 3rd November, Prof. K.C. Suri, Dr. Michael Liebig, Dr. Seyed Hossein Zarhani and Dr. Himanshu Jha attended the International workshop 'Democratizing Governance in India: a facet of aspirational polity' at University of Hamburg.

On the first day, Prof. Suri gave a talk on 'India’s democratic politics: A review and evaluation of competing explanations'. Dr. Jha presented his research on 'Evolution of the Right to Know: Indian Constitution and the Judiciary' on the second day, while Dr. Liebig gave a talk on 'Persistent Patterns of Conflict Resolution in India - The Kautilyan Upayas Template' and Dr. Zarhani on 'A Tale of Two States - Governance, Elite Agency and Development in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar after the Liberalization', in a session chaired by Prof. Suri.

Vortrag 'The Ministry of Home Affairs and Political Order in India' von Prof. Subrata Mitra, Universität Heidelberg, am 19. November (Montag), 16-18 Uhr am SAI in Raum 317. Siehe Details hier.

Prof. Rahul Mukherji an der Punjab University, Chandigarh

Am 2. November hat Prof. Rahul Mukherji im Rahmen seines Kurzaufenthaltes in Indien einen Vortrag zu "State Capacity: Comparative Lessons from India" in der Abteilung für Politikwissenschaft der Punjab University in Chandigarh gehalten.

Glückwunsch an unsere Studentin Namia Akhtar!

Namia Akhtar, eine unserer Masterstudentinnen im letzten Studienjahr, hat einen Degree Completion Grant der Universität Heidelberg als Unterstützung erhalten, um ihren Studiengang in Südasienstudien in den kommenden Monaten abzuschließen.

Vortrag 'Political culture in Pakistan: Opportunities and challenges' von Dr. Ali Zulfiqar, University of Karachi, am 5. November (Montag), 16-18 Uhr am SAI in Raum 317. Siehe Details hier.

Vortrag 'India in the Age of Super States' von Prof. Alasdair Roberts, University of Massachusetts Amherst, am 22. Oktober (Montag), 16-18 Uhr am SAI in Raum 317. Siehe Details hier.

Neue Publikation von Prof. Rahul Mukherji, Dr. Hossein Zarhani and K. Raju

Die Zeitschrift Indian Journal of Human Development veröffentlichte kürzlich einen Artikel von Prof. Rahul Mukherji, Hossein Zarhani und K. Raju mit dem Titel "State Capacity and Welfare Politics in India: Implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Undivided Andhra Pradesh". Weitere Informationen sind hier verfügbar.

Dr. Himanshu Jha at the 47th Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Himanshu Jha organized a panel on State Capacity and Bureaucratic Rationality in India at the 47th Annual Conference on South Asia held at University of Wisconsin-Madison from 11-14 October 2018. In this panel Dr. Jha presented a co-authored paper (co-authored with Prof. Rahul Mukherji, Dr. Seyed Hossein Zarhani, K.Raju and Dr. Manab Roy) on Ideas, Tipping Point and State Capacity in India: Comparing Welfare Politics in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

Vortrag 'Lost in Memory? Interactions along the Southern Silk Road and its Present Implications' von Dr Jayati Bhattacharya, University of Singapore, am 15. Oktober (Montag), 16-18 Uhr am SAI in Raum 317. Siehe Details hier.

Dr. Michael Liebig's scholarly visit to India

Dr. Liebig presented his research on "Counter-Insurgency in India and the Kautilyan upayas" on 20th September in Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi and Observer Research Foundation (ORF), New Delhi as well as on the 25th September at the Department of Political Science at the University of Hyderabad. All three events were followed by Q&A session and were widely attended.

Here, we provide a short abstract that summarises the presented research.

While the insurgencies in Kashmir and the Naxalite belt' linger on, in most other internal conflicts, the Indian state eventually managed to bring about conflict-resolution by combining remedial and coercive measures: 1. negotiation/conciliation (saman), 2. concession/delivering public goods (dana), 3. dissension/isolation (bheda) and 4. use of force (danda). This approach to conflict resolution has deep ideational roots going back to South Asia’s pre-modern history: the Kautilyan upayas template. Thus, Indian COIN seems to feature persistent patterns as opposed to mere 'adhocism'. However, when empirically examining the Indian state’s responses to insurgencies, we find inconsistent COIN policies flip-flopping between ‘soft’-remedial and ‘iron fist’ policies. This seems connected to the often agonistic relations between political actors (in Delhi and in the respective states) on the one side and the security-vectored bureaucracy, notably police and intelligence organizations, but also civil service actors, on the other side. Thus, politico-bureaucratic interaction seems to be a key factor for determining COIN failure or conflict resolution.

Vorstellung von Dr. Ali Zulfiqar

Die Abteilung für Politische Wissenschaft des SAI begrüßt herzlich Dr. Ali Zulfiqar als DAAD- Gastprofessor. Er ist Mitglied der Philosophischen Fakultät der Universität Karachi in Pakistan und wird sich bis Dezember 2018 am SAI aufhalten, um seine Forschungen in den Bereichen Postmodernismus, Postkolonialismus, Pakistans politisches System und Korruption zu vertiefen.

Interview mit Prof. Rahul Mukherji

Die Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung veröffentlichte am 19. September 2018 ein Interview mit Prof. Dr. Rahul Mukherji mit dem Titel „Unmögliche Friedensmission aus dem Exil? Wie der China-Tibet-Konflikt das Leben des Dalai Lama prägt“. Der Artikel porträtiert das Leben des Dalai Lama, geht auf seine Rolle im China-Tibet-Konflikt ein und gibt einen Ausblick auf die zukünftige politische Entwicklung. Den Artikel können sie hier online lesen.

Professor Rahul Mukherji at the Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi, India

Professor Rahul Mukherji has presented the lecture on Governing India: What do we know and need to know? at the Max Mueller Bhavan on the eve of the Indian Independence Day. The lecture was organised by Radu Carciumaru, M.A, a Resident Representative of New Delhi Branch Office of South Asia Insitute in New Delhi, India. Among many attendees, Dr. Himanshu Jha was present at this well-attended lecture, which became a chance for the interaction between people from various fields and disciplines. The event was followed by extended discussions that lasted until the late evening.

Professor Mukherji on the editorial board of the new journal 'Indian Politics and Policy'

Recently, Professor Rahul Mukherji has been appointed as the member of the editorial board of the new journal 'Indian Politics and Policy'. The journal pays attention to contemporary Indian politics by highlighting current research on Indian policies and political processes within the country. The journal is available under the following link.

Congratulations to our student Ms. Fahiya Rashid!

Fahiya Rashid, a student of the M.A. in South Asian Studies with a focus on Political Science and History has been awarded Heidelberg Alumni US (HAUS) Scholarship for the second time for the upcoming winter semester 2018/19. Besides her studies, she also works as a Research Assistant (Student) at the Max Planck Foundation of Peace and International Law on the Sri Lanka project. Fahiya plans to write her M.A. thesis on the economic and societal factors contributing to the steady increase of terrorist activities in Bangladesh and the counter-terrorism efforts that need to be undertaken to stop this trend. Huge congratulation on your achievement and we wish you every success in the upcoming semester!

Professor Rahul Mukherji at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library – NMML, New Delhi, India

Professor Rahul Mukherji has discussed State Capacity and Welfare Politics in India at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library – NMML, New Delhi, India on 6th August. The lecture is available here.

Professor Rahul Mukherji at GIGA Institute, Hamburg

Professor Rahul Mukherji presented on Ideas, Tipping Point and State Capacity in the context of welfare politics in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal at GIGA - German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg on 9th July. 

Talk on 'Can Clientelism be democratized? A view from the Shops of Power in India' by Sarthak Bagchi, Leiden University on the 23rd July (Monday) at 16:00 in SAI R317. 

Congratulations to Bernhard Beitelmair-Berini.

Congratulations to Bernhard Beitelmair-Berini for successfully defending his doctoral dissertation! The viva voce on his work titled "Delineating India’s Strategic Pluralism: The Subculture-Cleavage Model of Grand Strategic Thought”, was marked by his committee of Professor Subrata K. Mitra, Professor Yale H. Ferguson and Professor Rahul Mukherji with magna cum laude.

Professor Sumit Ganguly at DAI, Heidelberg.

Prof. Sumit Ganguly's talk on 'India: The Foreign Policy of a Global Player' on Tuesday, July 3, in the German-American Institute (DAI), Heidelberg.

Professor Sumit Ganguly at the Annual Meeting of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Berlin.

Prof. Sumit Ganguly, a recipient of the Humboldt Research Award, at the Conferment of Awards during the Annual Meeting of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin on 28th June.

The 6th Annual Monash Business and Sustainability Network Workshop on Sustainable Development

The sixth annual Monash Business and Sustainability network workshop on sustainable development was held at Monash University, Prato Centre from the 25th-26th of June 2018. The workshop was attended by Professor Rahul Mukherji, Dr Himanshu Jha, Dr Seyed Zarhani and Tanvi Deshpande. The co-authored paper titled "Puzzling, Powering, and the Tipping Point: State Capacity in India" was presented by Professor Rahul Mukherji. Dr Himanshu Jha presented his paper on "State Processes, Ideas and Institutional Change: the Case of Right to Information Act in India". The program of the workshop is available here.

Two recent publications by Sumit Ganguly, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Indiana University Bloomington and an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow for 2018-2019 at the University of Heidelberg.

1. (with Jayita Sarkar) 'India and the NPT After 50 Years: A look back at India’s decision to reject the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1968'. The Diplomat. June 22. Available here.

2. 'A meeting of minds?' India Today. June 15. Available here.

Visit of Global India fellows from the University of Warsaw, Poland

The Global India fellows from the University of Warsaw, Tomasz Lukaszuk and Akshay Sharma, visited the South Asia Institute at Heidelberg University from the 18th till the 21st June 2018. During their visit, they consulted their ideas with Professor Rahul Mukherji, interacted with members of our department, and presented their ongoing work.

On Wednesday, 20th June, a roundtable discussion chaired by Professor Sumit Ganguly and Professor Rahul Mukherji invited our guests to discuss their projects in short presentation followed by question round. Professor Marian Edward Halizak, Professor Jakub Zajaczkowski and Dr Lukasz Golota from the Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw, respectively, talked about Revival of Economic Nationalism, India’s Role in the Maritime Governance and The Comparison of Poland and South Korea with respect to the Economic Development. These engaging discussions were concluded with the dinner.

Talk on 'The Evolution of Indian Defence Policies' by Professor Sumit Ganguly, Indiana University, Bloomington, on 15th June (Friday) at SAI Heinrich Zimmer Hall. See the details here.

Professor Rahul Mukherji and Ms. Tanvi Deshpande at the Second China-India Workshop on Development and Governance

Professor Rahul Mukherji and Ms. Tanvi Deshpande attended the second China- India workshop on Development and Governance on June, 8 2018. It was organised by the Seeker Chan Centre for Comparative Political Development Studies and Fudan University's School of International Relations and Public Affairs (SIRPA). Professor Rahul Mukherji was the co-chair of the workshop along with Professor Yijia Jing of Fudan University and Professor Anil Deolalikar of the University of California, Riverside. During the event, Professor Mukherji presented a paper on the Rise and Fall of Welfare Politics in West Bengal, co-authored with Dr. Himanshu Jha. Ms. Tanvi Deshpande, a Marie-Curie fellow funded by Global India presented her paper titled, "Institutional change: India's Nation Action Plan on Climate Change?". The workshop presented an opportunity to engage scholars from the US, India and China who are deeply interested in comparative work on India and China.

Talk on 'Refugee and Migrant Labour as a Crucial Population Question of Our Time' by Dr Ranabir Samaddar, Calcutta Research Group, Calcutta on 11th June (Monday) at SAI Room 317. See details here.

A warm welcome to our visiting scholar Professor Sumit Ganguly 

Prof. Ganguly is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science, and holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations, at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected 2017), and a recipient of the Humboldt Research Award (2017), to be hosted by the Department of Politics, SAI, Heidelberg University. He is a specialist on the contemporary politics of South Asia, Professor Ganguly’s research spans security, ethnic conflict, democratization, foreign policy, and international politics of that region. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of over 20 books on the region. His most recent books include The Oxford Handbook of India’s National Security (Oxford University Press, 2015, coedited with Nicolas Blarel and Manjeet S. Pardesi); Deadly Impasse: Indo-Pakistani Relations at the Dawn of a New Century (Cambridge University Press, 2016); and, with William R. Thompson, Ascending India and Its State Capacity (Yale University Press, 2017).

Dr. Himanshu Jha’s recent publication 

Dr. Himanshu Jha published an article entitled "State Processes, Ideas, and Institutional Change: The Case of the Right to Information Act in India" in the latest issue of the Pacific Affairs (Volume 91, No.2, June 2018). Using historical evidence, this article presents an alternative to the dominant narrative about the evolution of the Right to Information Act in India. Dr. Jha demonstrates that ideas on openness emerged as part of the opposition politics within the state after independence in 1947, gradually and incrementally became part of mainstream politics, and eventually led to the RTIA. The article can be accessed here.

Prof. Subrata K. Mitra’s recent publication

‘Bhutan and Sino-Indian Rivalry: the Price of Proximity.’ Asian Survey 58(2): 240-260. The article points to how the military standoff between Chinese and Indian troops in the disputed territory of Doklam brought forward the foreign policy dilemmas of Bhutan and its search for an optimal strategy toward its two neighbouring big powers. This paper discusses Bhutan’s attempts to balance its overwhelming dependence on India with the necessity of normal diplomatic relations with China. The article can be access here.

A warm welcome to the DAAD Visiting Doctoral Scholar Ms. Debora Pelisson

Debora Ramires Pelisson is a DAAD Visiting Doctoral Scholar and will join our department from April 2018 to March 2019. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil, and, currently, Debora is in the third year of PhD at the same University. She is also a member of the Center of Research and Studies of Politics and International Economy (USP). Her research interests are the international political economy, monetary cooperation and integration and international financial institutions. At the Heidelberg University, she will develop her PhD research under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Rahul Mukherji.

Talk on 'Integration and Anxiety in Modi’s India' by Professor Subrata K Mitra, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University on 4th June (Monday) at SAI Room 317. See details here.

Talk on 'India’s Internal Security Culture: The insurgencies in Punjab and Andhra Pradesh and the ‘right mix’ of coercive and remedial policies' by Dr. Michael Liebig, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University on 28th May (Monday) at SAI Room 317. See details here.

Talk on 'Business and Politics in India: the Tamil Nadu Puzzle' by Professor John Harriss, Simon Fraser University on 14th May (Monday) at SAI Room 317. See details here.

The second workshop of the Global India Network, April 23-24, 2018 at the Indian Institute, King’s College London

Professor Rahul Mukherji, Mr Jai Prasad, and Ms Tanvi Deshpande attended Global India Network at the Indian Institute, King’s College London in April. The participants discussed EU-India relations after Brexit as well as the impact of ‘Multi-Level Governance in India’ on both domestic and external policy-making.

A warm welcome to our visiting scholar Professor K.C. Suri

Professor Suri joins our department as the DAAD guest Professor in summer semester 2018 and winter semester 2018-19. He will teach courses on Political Parties in India, Comparative Politics and Indian Political Process (together with Professor Mukherji) as well as Elections and Voting Behaviour in India. Previously, he was awarded Baden Württemberg Fellowship of the Federal State of Baden Württemberg and visited us in winter semester 2016-17. Professor Suri teaches at the Department of Political Science at the University of Hyderabad. His recent publications include Political Parties in South Asia: The Challenge of Change (International IDEA, Stockholm, 2007), Indian Democracy, ICSSR Research Surveys and Explorations: Political Science: Volume 2 (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2013), and Party Competition in Indian States: Electoral Politics in Post-Congress Polity (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2014). He has published many book chapters and papers in national and international journals on different themes pertaining to politics and policies in India. He was a visiting scholar at Uppsala University, Sweden, and Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. Presently he is the Managing Editor of Studies in Indian Politics, a bi-annual Political Science journal published in India by the Sage.

Professor Mukherji's lectures at Oxford and School of Oriental and African Studies in London

Professor Rahul Mukherji delivered two lectures - one at Oxford (April 25, 2018) and another at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London (April 26, 2018). These presentations were preceded by ones at the University of Pennsylvania (April 9, 2018) and at Columbia (April 12, 2018).  Both lectures focused on the capacity of the Indian state to redistribute wealth to the poor. The lectures were based on a paper co-authored with colleagues Dr. Himanshu Jha and Dr. Seyed Hossein Zarhani, and two senior retired civil servants – Mr. K Raju and Dr. Manab Roy. There was a good scholarly engagement in both places, and younger and more senior scholars debated the view that ideas that evolve within the state have to be taken seriously if we wish to understand how the Indian state develops the capacity to act.

Welcome to Ronja Gottschling!

The Department of Political Science warmly welcomes Ronja Gottschling! Ronja is a Master Student in South Asia Studies focusing on Political Science, Languages and Literature. This semester she joined our team and will be leading a tutorial in Qualitative Research Methods in Political Science every Friday. Her research interests are political conflicts, mobilization and protest and the relationship between religion and politics. Currently, she holds a position as a Head of the Working Group Asia & Oceania (esp. Pakistan) at the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research and has previously worked in South Asia on issues involving federalism, democracy and conflict resolution. We wish you all the best for the upcoming weeks!

Talk on 'The Welfare Effects of India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Act' by Professor Stefan Klonner, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University on 7th May (Monday) at SAI Room 317. See details here.

The study visit of the Global India Marie Curie fellow Tomasz Lukaszuk

Tomasz Lukaszuk, former Polish Ambassador to India, fellow at Global India Marie Curie program, was at the study visit in SAI on April 8th to 20th. Ambassador Lukaszuk held meetings and consultations with Professor Rahul Mukherji, Dr. Himanshu Jha and Dr. Seyed Hossein Zarhani, focusing on the role of India in maritime governance in the Indian Ocean Region, which is the research interest of our guest. He had the opportunity to access SAI library and enjoy its collection of books and articles on Indian Ocean Region and maritime strategies of its littoral countries as well as external powers.

Talk on 'The Differential Impact of the Second World War on India' by Professor Indivar Kamtekar, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University on 30th April (Monday) at SAI Room 317. See details here.

Professor Mukherji's talks in the United States

Professor Rahul Mukherji delivered lectures on 'Layering Ideas and the Tipping Point: A Conjecture About State Capacity in India' at The Center for the Advanced Study of India, the University of Pennsylvania on 9th April and at Columbia University on 12th April.

The 59th ISA Annual Convention

Professor Rahul Mukherji and Dr. Himanshu Jha presented papers at the 59th International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention held on April 4-7, 2018, San Francisco. The two papers discussed state capacity in Asia and Climate Change Politics in India and Bangladesh. For details see program here.

Dr Himanshu Jha’s recent publication

'Emerging Politics of Accountability: Institutional Progression of the Right to Information Act’ Economic & Political Weekly 53(10): 47-54.

The first workshop of the project Global India, February 21 -23, 2018, Barcelona, Spain

Professor Rahul Mukherji, Dr Himanshu Jha, Mr Jai Prasad, and Ms Tanvi Deshpande, attended the first Global India conference at Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacional (IBEI), Spain, on February 21 - 23, 2018. Global India is a Horizon 2020 funded European Training Network. The network is based at Dublin City University, Ireland, and is composed of six different EU Universities and nine academic and non-academic partners in India. Mr Prasad and Ms Deshpande are the two Marie Curie fellows hosted by Department of Politics, SAI, as part of Global India network. They presented their preliminary research outlines at the network's workshop.

Congratulations to Ms. Viola Bianchetti

Ms. Viola Bianchetti, a student of the M.A. in South Asian Studies with a focus on Political Science and History, has been selected for a five-months traineeship at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels. She will be employed in the Directorate "Relations with Organised Civil Society and Forward Studies" from February. Congratulation on your achievement and we wish you every success in the upcoming months!

Professor Mukherji’s trip to Kolkata

Professor Rahul Mukherji presented a paper at a workshop organised by the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences in Kolkata on the theme: Political Economy of Sub-National Regions – Comparative Studies of Indian States on 11 January 2018. The paper was titled: Rise and Fall of Welfare Politics in West Bengal. It was jointly authored by Dr. Himanshu Jha and Dr. Manab Roy. Dr. Jha is a Research Fellow and Lecturer in the department and Dr. Roy is a retired Secretary of Rural Development who served the Government of West Bengal. Subsequently, Professor Mukherji also delivered a public lecture on Governance in India at Jadavpur University on January 16. This public lecture was organized by Jadavpur University and the Netaji Institute of Advanced Studies.

Talk on 'Is there a countermovement against neo-liberalism in India today?' by Prof. John Harriss, Simon Fraser Universit, University of Amsterdam on 22nd January (Monday) at SAI Room 317. See details here. 

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