|– Current South Asia related research at the department
– Previous South Asia related research
Staffan Lindberg/Göran Djurfeldt
– ICCR Guest Professorships at department
Postal address: Box 114, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Visiting address: Paradisgatan 5, house G
Web page: http://www.soc.lu.se/
Contact persons: Lecturer Olle Frödin,
phone: +46 (0)46 222 3373. Personal web page.
– also Deputy Director for SASNET from 1 August 2013.
Professor Emeritus Staffan Lindberg,
phone: 46 46 222 88 62. Personal web page.
The department has a long history of Indian and South Asian Studies pioneered by Staffan Lindberg (photo) in 1966 and Göran Djurfeldt in 1969. For many years South Asian studies has taken place within a broader programme called the Development Studies Seminar, which has trained PhD candidates in sociological development studies. Seminars have been held regularly every second week and doctoral courses organised together with other institutions in the Nordic countries.
In the programme Social Movements and Strategies in Development 1988-1998 (co-funded by SAREC and co-ordinated by Staffan Lindberg) the Dept. of Sociology has organised senior teachers, researchers and doctoral students in sociology and anthropology in a number of joint activities like seminars, guest-lectures, courses and a publication series. Part of the focus has been on South Asia. In 1993, it conducted a Nordic Conference on Social Movements in the Third World in Lund with about 90 participants, which resulted in an anthology edited by Lindberg and Arni Sverrisson: Social Movements in Development. The Challenge of Globalization and Democratization (1997, London: Macmillan, with four chapters on India). In 1993 it also conducted a conference on Gender in Development, which resulted in the anthology: Feminist Interventions in Discourses on Gender and Development (Eds. Sara Goodman and Diana Mulinari, 1999, Lund: Dept. of Sociology). Between 1992 and 1998 a total of 14 doctoral students passed their PhD examination within this programme.
In the last decade, researchers from the Lund sociology department have led the building up of the Nordic Association of South Asian Studies, NASA. Göran Djurfeldt was its first chairman 1989-91. More recently, Dr. Stig Toft Madsen, has been its chairman 1995-1999 and Pernille Gooch was on its executive board 1995 – 1999.
Current South Asia related research at the department
PhD Candidate Uzma Osman Bucha began her thesis work at the department in September 2015. She has previously completed her BA Masters in Development Studies from Lund University. Her BA thesis was entitled ”´A little less here, a little more there´ Pakistani Women in Sweden: Constructing Meaningful Identities across Borders”. Read the full-text thesis.
In May 2015, she participated in the SASNET conference on Structural Transformation of South Asia, and presented a paper based on her Masters thesis in a panel on ”Changes in Family and Households”. The paper was entitled ”The Apple Must Fall Far From the Tree’; A Case Study Of An Educational School Intervention in Lyari: An Urban Slum In Pakistan”.
Abstract: Partly attributed to the distinguishing effects of poverty on education and effects of education on poverty, the poverty and education nexus is complex. Since poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon deprivation in education, especially in urban slums, is not caused by one factor alone, but is rather stitched to various other related factors such as family structure, a high conflict neighbourhood and quality of school. The Kiran School system is a context-sensitive educational intervention that is interacting with the urban social context of Lyari, a slum and an area infamous for gang violence in the city of Karachi in Pakistan, in an effort to adapt to and change the social environment in which it is being implemented. The paper argues that social relations and networks that disadvantaged people engage with and relate to in their daily lives and mobilize in times of crises, reproduce inertiatic institutions. Institutions come under stress only when a broker enters into this domain with an educational school intervention that challenges individuals to question taken- for-granted world views through bridging social capital that provides new forms of institutional fall back. This allows them to take greater control of their lives and has greater potential to transform existing institutions for social change amidst the urban social disadvantage.
PhD candidate Tullia Jack is working on a project entitled ”Cleanliness Conventions, Inconspicuous Consumption and Unsustainability”, partly focusing on India. She hold sher mid-term seminar on Tuesday 10 November 2015.
Abstract: Everyday life constitutes the bulk of social reality and is thus important in considering future sustainability. Mundane activities like transport, eating, and domestic activities are increasingly coming into focus in sustainability research. Recent increases in everyday life expectations have resulted in acceleration of resources consumed in pursuing the shifting goal-posts of social normality. After all most resources are not consumed in the Veblen sens, asstatus symbols, but rather in the everyday pursuit of conventional activities and adhering to social standards in mundane actvities. A promising avenue for resource intensity reduction lies accordingly in understanding collective conventions and ways that accepted modes of existence come into being, propagate and abate.
In May 2015, the South Asian Students Association (SASA) at Lund University, in collaboration with SASNET, decided upon the announced student travel grants to do fieldwork in South Asia during the fall semester of 2015. The grants will cover travel expenses for airline tickets to the country of fieldwork for up to a maximum of SEK 8,000 per grant. Tullia is one of the successful candidates. She plans to visit Mysore in India, to study differences between cleanliness conventions in Mysore and Malmö and they ways these impact water and energy consumption in these two cities.
Dr. Olle Frödin defended his PhD with an Africa related thesis at the Dept. of Sociology in 2008. Later he shifted over his research focus to South Asia. He was affiliated to the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID) at Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, UK, but in 2011 he returned to Lund University, and from November 2011 again connected to the Dept. of Sociology, working as a Lecturer.
From 1 August 2013 till May 2015, Olle also worked for SASNET on a 50 % basis as Deputy Director in charge of research collaboration.
In 2009, Olle Frödin initiated an India related post-doc research project at Queen Elizabeth House. The project was entitled ”Between Policy and Practice: The Politics of Food and the Governance of the Public Distribution System in India”.
Abstract: The project investigates the functioning of the Indian public distribution system (PDS), a large scale food rationing programme, which aim at assuring food security of the people of India, against the wider backdrop of the structural transformation of the Indian economy. There are considerable interstate differences with regard to the performance of (e.g. the effectiveness, coverage and the levels of corruption and leakages) and of people’s access to, the public food distribution system across India. The proposed project seeks to examine differences in the governance of the public food distribution system by making comparisons among rural areas with similar characteristics in terms of agro-ecological circumstances and levels of industrialization, but that differ considerably with regard to the performance and coverage of the PDS, in two neighbouring Indian states, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Thus the project aims to uncover some of the underlying social mechanisms explaining the functioning or malfunctioning of administrative organisations. The project contributes to current research on food security and public food delivery systems, issues that may become increasingly important when viewed in light global climate changes.
Later, Dr. Frödin has continued his research work att Oxford University with a project entitled ”Bread and Licenses: The battle for the regulation of the agro-food system in India”.
Abstract: The project seeks to examine some political-economic aspects of the contemporary agrarian question in India. Since independence, the Indian agriculture and food system has been regulated with two main goals in mind: food sovereignty and food security. To achieve these goals, the Government of India developed a framework which regulates the production and distribution of food grains through a public distribution system of food grains, food grain price stabilization operations, and through firm regulations of food grain markets. In the wake of the liberalization reforms of the 1990s, this regulatory system has faced growing reform pressures. The private system of procurement, processing and distribution of agricultural products is considered to be too fragmented and inefficient since it is dominated by small traders, processers and retailers that are interlinked in complex ways. In September 2003, the Government of India introduced a new Model Law on Agricultural Marketing with the aim of improving the conditions for agribusinesses in India. The introduction of the New Model Law entails fundamental changes in India’s political economy and is likely to alter preexisting power relations with regard to production, procurement, distribution and sales. Intermediary traders and small processing firms may lose some of their command over food, while large corporations gradually increase their control of procurement, processing, trading and marketing chains. Thus, the reforms are likely to break up local hegemonies involving owners of small agribusiness and retail firms, and change the functioning of the entire Indian food system. This project aims to examine the political reactions to the liberalization of food procurement regulations.
On Thursday 10 November 2011, Olle Frödin held a SASNET Brown bag lunch seminar on ”Modernization, Neoliberal Globalization or Variegated Development: the Indian Food System Transformation in Comparative Perspective”. The lecture reviewed three theoretical approaches to agro-food system change, placed at different levels on the ladder of generality. It then considered these approaches in relation to India’s changing agro-food system. Finally, it examined the general and the particularistic features of the Indian case, and discusses their implications for theories relating to global governance and international political economy. See the seminar poster.
Dr. Goran Basic was a keynote speaker at the 2nd Annual Conference of Urban Research and Development Society that was held at University of Dhaka, Bangladesh on 12–13 March 2014. The theme for the conference was ”Democracy, Citizenship and Urban Violence”, and was primarily based on Bangladeshi experiences where inequality and social polarization has led to new forms of urban violence, and with disjunctions between democracy and modernity – producing fragmented urban spaces. Dr. Basic’s presentation was entitled ”Competing for victimhood: Stories of Bosnian war survivors”, presenting the retold experiences of 27 survivors of the 1990s war in northwestern Bosnia.
The conference was organised by Prof. Shahadat Hossain, and Dr. Samina Luthfa, both from the Dept. of Sociology, University of Dhaka, but Professor Mashiur Rahman, alumni PhD from Lund University, was also instrumental to assist Dr. Basic with practical matters while being in Bangladesh. More information about the conference.
Previous South Asia related research
Staffan Lindberg and Göran Djurfeldt
• Staffan Lindberg and Göran Djurfeldt defended their joint doctoral dissertation in 1975. It consisted of two volumes, titled ”Behind Poverty: The Social Formation in a Tamil Village” and ”Pills Against Poverty. A Study of the Introduction of Western Medicine in a Tamil Village” respectively.
The books were published by Curzon Press. The project was carried out in collaboration with Professor Venkatesh Athreya (photo to the left), later working at Bharathidasan Universityin Tiruchirappali, India, and currently at the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai.
(Read a review of the books by Michael Moffatt in the The Journal of Asian Studies, 1977 volume 2).
They continued with another Sida/SAREC financed research project on production relations in Indian agriculture between 1979 and 1986. The project involved studies of about 400 farmers in six villages in two different ecological settings in South India (Tiruchirapalli District in Tamil Nadu).
A number of articles appeared in scientific journals and a major monograph ”Barriers Broken – Production Relations and Agrarian Change in South India” was published in 1990. The study was funded by SAREC, Lund and Copenhagen universities and NIAS, and it highlighted the contrasting social structures in the two ecotypes of wet and dry villages in Tamil Nadu.
From 2003 Prof. Lindberg (photo to the left) and Prof. Djurfeldt (photo to the right) again worked on a joint project titled ”Revisiting Rural South India: Twenty-five Years of Change and Mobility”. The project was given a SASNET Planning grant in January 2003, and then received funding with SEK 1.5 million for three years (2004-06) by a Sida/SAREC grant in December 2003. In November 2004 the project, now renamed ”Social Mobility and Agrarian Transformation – An Indian case” was granted additional SEK 1 580 000 SEK by the Swedish Research Council for the three-years period 2005-07. More information.
The project has been carried out again in collaboration with Prof. Venkatesh Athreya, and also with Dr. R. Vidyasagar from the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, India, and Dr. A. Rajagopal from SaciWATERs in Hyderabad. The project is an assessment in a twenty-five year perspective of the social and economic consequences of the Green Revolution, and of theories of social differentiation and mobility in rural India. The restudy, based on the study conducted in 1979/80, will be an assessment in a twenty-five year perspective of the social and economic consequences of the Green Revolution, and of theories of social differentiation and mobility in rural India, with an aim to grasp agrarian changes and factors which control and direct the course of these changes.
Both Göran Djurfeldt and Staffan Lindberg presented results from this research project in papers at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Swedish Sociological Association, held in Lund 8–9 February 2007, in workshop No. 9 on ”Development Studies and Global Relations”. Djurfeldt’s papers was titled ”Agrarian Change and Social Mobility in Tamil Nadu”, focusing on the social mobility in the villages under study. He pointed out that the two most important external drivers are local industrialization and social policy in a broad sense. Analyzing mobility matrices by means of regression techniques, it is shown that the overall effect is a centralpetal tendency in agrarian structure, with a strengthened position for family farming and a tendency for both the topdogs and the underdogs in the old agrarian society to leave agriculture altogether, seeking improved life chances in the non-agrarian economy, both inside the villages and in the wider economy. More information about Prof. Djurfeldt’s research, below.
Prof. Lindberg’s paper was titled ”Social and Political Changes in Rural Tamil Nadu in a 25 Years’ Perspective”, and dealt with the social and political changes that has taken place. A dormant local government has begun to wake up after the 1993 legislation making it mandatory. A rudimentary welfare state has been developed by Tamil nationalist parties in response to issue- and need-based popular demands. 1/3 reservation has brought women into the three Panchayat levels (village, block and district) and a process of empowerment has begun, which is also the case for the Dalit castes though in the latter case at an uneven and slow pace. This is a process supported by the formation of many women’s savings groups in all the villages and the entry of women into non-farm occupations. Women’s groups make up the most important form of non-traditional collective action today, while the once so vibrant farmers’ movement has all but disappeared.
A one-day felicitation seminar was held in honour of Prof. Staffan Lindberg on Thursday 8 April 2010, Staffan’s 67th birthday. The seminar was prepared by Göran Djurfeldt, Abdulhadi Khalaf and other colleagues within the department.
Several of Staffan’s ex-students, as well as Scandinavian and international friends and colleagues participated in the seminar, presenting short papers. Among others, they included Prof. Partha Nath Mukherji from the Institute of Social Sciences in New Delhi, India; Prof. Emeritus Björn Hettne, PADRIGU, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg; Dr. Preben Kaarsholm, Roskilde University; and Dr. Stig Toft Madsen, University of Copenhagen. The writer Lasse Berg and the journalist Christian Andersson also held presentations in honour of Staffan, SASNET’s current Director, Dr. Anna Lindberg participated, presenting a paper on ”The New Kerala Model: ‘Prosperity of the Family’ through self-help groups”. More information.
Dr. R. Vidyasagar (photo to the right) from the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, India, held a guest lecture at Lund University on Monday 29 October 2007. Dr. Vidyasagar talked about ”Child Labour in India. Present Situation and Future Prospects in the Era of Globalisation”. The lecture was organised by the Research Group on Society, Development, Environment, at the Department of Sociology. R. Vidyasagar is a senior researcher who has specialised in the Indian labour market, especially on child labour issues, on which he has written extensively. Recently, he has been engaged in the Panel study of 25 years of change in rural Tamil Nadu (see above). In 2007, he was invited on a SASNET guest lecture travel grant, and during his stay in Sweden he also gave a lecture/seminar at the Department of Economic History at Stockholm University on Wednesday 31 October. See the full list of SASNET planning grants 2006.
In November 2008, the results from the project on ”Revisiting Rural South India: Twenty-five Years of Change and Mobility” was published in the Economic and Political Weekly journal. The article titled ”Agrarian Change and Social Mobility in Tamil Nadu” is jointly written by Göran Djurfeldt, Staffan Lindberg, Venkatesh Athreya, R. Vidyasagar, A. Rajagopal, and N. Jayakumar. It stresses that the two most important external drivers have been local industrialisation and social policy in a broad sense. It is shown that the overall effect seems to be a centripetal tendency in agrarian structure, with a movement towards a strengthened position for family farming and for the underdogs in the old agrarian society to leave agriculture altogether, seeking improved life chances in the non-agrarian economy, both inside the villages and in the wider economy. Read the EP&W article.
Between 1997 and 2001 Prof. Lindberg worked with a comparative project jointly financed by the Danish Council for Development Research (DANIDA) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA/SAREC). It was titled ”Farmers’ Organisations and Agricultural Development in Taiwan, Thailand and India: The Challenge of Democratisation and Globalisation”, in collaboration with Dr. Stig Toft Madsen. The purpose of the project was to study and assess the emergence, current impact and possible future importance of a number of producer oriented farmers’ movements and organisations, or attempts at organising, in Asia. Drawing on the experiences from India accumulated by Lindberg, as well as other studies from Asia, they focused on the contemporary development of farmers’ movements and organisations (FMOs) in three countries representing different parts of capitalist Asia, i.e. India, Thailand and Taiwan. The study was set within the contemporary trends of globalisation in two fields: the economic (especially international trade) and the political (especially democratisation). The third dimension of the project was the environmental challenge in agriculture and how FMOs relate to this also increasingly global dimension of development.
In 2006 Staffan Lindberg presented an article on the subject, ‘Rättvisa, men vilken? När de förtryckta mobiliseras’ (Justice for Whom? When the Oppresed in the South are Mobilised) in a volume titled ”Sociala Rörelser – Politik och Kultur” (Social Movements – Politics and Culture), edited by Åsa Wetterberg and Andrew Jamison, and published by Studentlitteratur as part of the department’s Social Movements and Strategies in Development project. More information.
Since 1968, Staffan Lindberg has taught and guided students at all levels in theory, methods, and his special fields of development studies, both at the Dept. of Sociology and at the the Dept. of Social and Economic Geography/Development Studies. Jointly with other teachers he organised a Masters Course in Rural Development at the Dept. of Sociology during the years 1994–96 . He is a full professor of Sociology at Lund University since 1999. Besides this position, he has also been Director and co-ordinator for SASNET from 2000 till 2007, on a 50 % basis.
Over the years, he has also carried out extensive field work in South India, Punjab and Thailand; organised conferences (such as the 18th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies in 2004) and symposia; and since 2001 organised the undergraduate social science course on India/South Asia at Österlen folk high school in Tomelilla (more information about this course).
For full information about Prof. Lindberg’s academic qualifications, see his CV (as a pdf-file).
Staffan Lindberg and Göran Djurfeldt have also been active in promoting the establishment of a network of South Asian sociologists. In February 2005 they received a SASNET planning grant to fund a workshop (The Second South Asia Sociology Workshop – SAW II) that was held in Surajkund, India, 22–23 December 2005. This was the second meeting of South Asian sociologists within a year, and it was organised by the Indian Sociological Society through Prof. Ravinder Kaurat the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi; and Prof. Partha Mukherji, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Staffan Lindberg, was present in the workshop along with sociologists from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Read Staffan Lindberg’s report from SAW II.
In December 2011, Staffan Lindberg visited India and held lectures in Delhi and Udaipur. The first lecture was on ”Community studies – learning what can be generalised and preparing for a revisit” at the Young Sociologists Workshop on Doing Ethnography, held 9-10 December at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. He also discussed research project reports with ten of the 55 participating young scholars.
The workshop was part of the Indian Sociological Society’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, XXXVII All India Sociological Conference, held 10-13 December at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, which gathered about 2,000 participants. The theme was ”Sociology and the Crisis of Social Transformation in India” and Staffan gave a short speech in the first session focusing on an international perspective (along with iSA president Michael Burawoy). Photo to the right.
Prof. Lindberg compared what we know about the Indian transformation with the corresponding period in European history a hundred fifty years ago. Just as then the transition to an industrial economy has seen mass unemployment, mass poverty and social disruptions. But there is no doubt that there is a transition in India with mechanisation of agriculture and the fact that rural people now derive more than half of their income from work in the non-farm sector. For details of the programme, see: http://www.insoso.org/pdf/2011/issnewsletterdec21112011.pdf, pages 8 and 9.
• Besides his joint research projects with Staffan Lindberg (see above), Prof. Göran Djurfeldt has also been involved in a project titled ”African Food Crisis – the relevance of Asian models”, with Rolf Larsson and Mikael Hammarskjöld at the same department. The project was financed by Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation and lasted for three years from January 2001. It also involved Magnus Jirström at the Dept. of Social and Economic Geography, Lund University, Hans Holmén, Dept. of Geography, Linköping University, and collaborating scholars from all over the World. In India they were deeply inspired by interviews with M.S. Swaminathan and G.S. Bhalla, and in Bangladesh they were assisted by Mahabub Hossain and his network. The project resulted in a book called ”The African Food Crisis: Lessons from the Asian Green Revolution”, edited by Göran Djurfeldt, Rolf Larsson (who tragically passed away in a car accident in Tanzania in 2004), Magnus Jirström and Hans Holmén. It was published by CAB Publishing in London, UK in 2005. More information on the book (as a pdf-file).
In 2001, Djurfeldt also published another book in Swedish dealing with the World food crisis, titled ”Mera mat – att brödföda en växande befolkning” (More food – feeding a growing population, Arkiv förlag, Lund).
• Abdulhadi Khalaf has worked on a project titled ”The Jihad Volunteers: A Study in Transnational Mobilisation”. The project covers the trans-national movement of volunteers in the Afghan Jihad. During its heydays, 1978-1991, the movement has formed a highly visible component of an international alliance, which emerged to offer financial, political and military backing to the resistance waged by the Mujahideen against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. It is proposed that the success and subsequent fragmentation of the movement are closely connected to several simultaneous processes: a) the growth of Islamism, b) the regional ramifications of the Cold War, and c) the emergence of the Jihad as an alternative ‘new space for collective action’. As a trans-national movement, that has its roots in the Third World, it presents some of the understudied aspects of globalisation processes. The project was financed by a grant from the Swedish Research Council during the period 2000-2002.
In 2006, an article based on Khalaf’s research project was presented in an edited volume on Social Movements (”Sociala Rörelser. Politik och Kultur”) published by the Dept. of Sociology and Studentlitteratur. The article is titled ”De arabiska frivilliga – en transnationell, social rörelses uppgång och fall” (The Arab volunteers – the rise and fall of a transnational social movement). More information (in Swedish only).
Abdulhadi Khalaf is also working on a project on Globalisation, the Cyberspace, and Islamism. This project is an exploratory study in one of the understudied areas of globalisation: The spread of “Third Worldish” socio-political networks and movements beyond the geo-cultural space of the Third World itself. The study focuses on the efforts of various Islamist networks and movements to utilise cyberspace as a vehicle for generating and consolidating “an Islamist global identity”, a virtual Umma. (Grant from FRN).
The Lund University students union magazine Lundagård published an interview with Abdulhadi Khalaf in its 8/2008 issue. The article, focusing on Khalaf’s research on Jihadi volunteers to Afghanistan, is written by the journalist Karl Eckhardt, and is entitled ”Vår tid hade kunnat se annorlunda ut”. Read the article (as a pdf-file).
• Mashiur Rahman defended his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Struggling Against Exclusion-Adibasi in Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh” on Wednesday 8 June 2011. The faculty opponent was Dr. Pernille Gooch, Division of Human Ecology, Lund University. Mashiur became a doctoral student at the department in 2006. Before coming to Sweden Mr. Rahman was working as Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dhaka University, and after dissertation he has returned to this department, now as full Professor.
Abstract: This study provides an overview of social policy and poverty among ethnic minorities (Adibasi) in Bangladesh, with a special focus on the Chakma people belonging to the Sonai and Mayni localities, situated in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). The main argument concerns their struggle against exclusion which is an indispensable part of policy studies. Rahman concentrates on the historical processes and the current situation among the Adibasi, characterized by social exclusion, deprivation and poverty. Furthermore, he discusses the peace process, and attempts to create integration and cohesion in the CHT. An integral part of my work consists of qualitative and quantitative data obtained from nine different hamlets (para) inhabited by the Adibasi. The findings are used to show how the Adibasi have been deprived of their land, emphasizing in particular the arrival of settlers, army occupation, as well as various government projects initiated during different regimes. In addition, Rahman discusses the conflicts that have risen due to land grabbing, forced migration and displacement.
• Dr. Stig Toft Madsen (photo to the right) defended his doctoral thesis titled ”State, Society and Human Rights in South Asia” at the department in 1995. The thesis deals with Law, Legality, the Legal Profession and Security Studies – topics ranging from the economic rights of forest dwellers to the right of secession claimed by separatist movements in Sri Lanka, Punjab and elsewhere.
During the early 1990s, Dr. Toft Madsen worked as a Research Fellow at the Dept. of Sociology. He was engaged in a research project, titled “The Rule of Law in South Asia: Human Rights Issues in Post-Colonial Plural States“, that was financed by Sida/SAREC and by Lund University. This project resulted in his doctoral thesis.
Later he has worked as Research Associate at the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Dept. of Geography and International Development Studies, Roskilde University.
Over the years, Dr. Toft Madsen has continued to work on the broad fields of law and legality, litigation, the legal profession, formal versus informal conflict resolution mechanisms, legal pluralism and legal monism, and human rights. But he also been involved in research projects focused on Agrarian Transformation, where he has studied farmers’ movements in several Indian states and in other parts of Asia. Specifically, he has worked on the emergence of, and resistance to, genetically modified cotton. Consequently, his area of interest includes Science & Technology studies. Another focus area for his research has been Social Ecology. He has worked on projects on global and local environmental history, issues of biodiversity and conservation, the economy of fishing, forestry and the rights of forest-dwellers, the anthropology of ornithology, and on “nature” as a cultural category.
His current research interests include terrorist movements in South Asia and Indo-Pakistani relations, as well as everyday political practices and political cultures..
• Aina Winsvold defended her doctoral dissertation ”Når arbeidende barn mobiliserer sig. En studie av tre unioner i Karnataka, India” (When Children Unite – child workers’ organisations in India), on Thursday 16 December 2004. Faculty opponent was Associate Professor Per Bolin Hort, Södertörn University College, Huddinge.
It is a study of the organisation of working children in India mainly through three cases studies in Bangalore, Karnataka. It is a pioneering study asking basic questions like what is the origin of these movements and their demands? What methods do they use to achieve these aims? How are members recruited? The study navigates in a minefield of national and international contradictions and conflicts over child work and the right of children to organise and voice their demands. The study uses organisational and social movement theory, as well as psychological and anthropological theories about child development. Fieldwork consisted of a case study of each organisation, leaders, followers, adult advisors, etc. In interviewing children, some of the methods of participatory appraisal were used, i.e. drawings, role-play and creative workshops. The project was funded by a grant from the Norwegian Research Council. More information about the thesis.
Dr. Winsvold has now returned to Norway, where she has worked as co-ordinator for the Campbell Social Services Group at the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services in Oslo. She is currently Senior Researcher/cand.mag at NOVAs (Norwegian Social Research) Nordic Centre of Excellence in Welfare Research in Oslo. More information.
• Malin Arvidson successfully defended her dissertation, ”Demanding Values. Participation, Empowerment, and NGOs in Bangladesh”, on 14 March 2003. Read an abstract of the dissertation.
The project was focused on participatory strategies used within water supply and sanitation (WSS) projects in Bangladesh. The aim was to confront theoretical ideals with practical reality faced while implementing participatory strategies. Analysis of the theoretical aspects of the concept of participation per se were made through study of literature. This analysis was combined with analysis of two WSS-projects in Bangladesh using participatory strategies. Material concerning the two projects was being gathered through fieldwork in two districts of Bangladesh.
In November 2003 Malin Arvidson was given SEK 765 000 a Sida/SAREC post-doc grant for a research project on ”Institutions and livelihoods: Perspectives of change in rural Bangladesh”. In November 2005 she again received a minor grant for this project to be carried out during 2006. The aim of this project is to investigate how a changing institutional environment is related to changing livelihood strategies in rural Bangladesh. Poverty has fallen in Bangladesh but remains high. Simultaneously NGOs have increased coverage and intensity in their activities, and state administration has undergone attempts at decentralisation. How have the increasingly diversified livelihood strategies of rural households engaged with this institutional environment? What roles do more informal social institutions play in evolving livelihood strategies? These questions are central to discussions of the nature of poverty alleviation and welfare improvement. The project evolves from a study gathering life histories of rural households.
Dr Malin Arvidson is now involved in a longitudinal study commissioned by the Sida. The 5-year study, called Reality Check Bangladesh, was initiated in 2007 and aims to explore poor people’s perceptions and experiences of the education and health sectors.
She works as a Senior Research Assistant at the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC), Division of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Southampton, UK. More information on her research.
Bertil Egerö started a programme called Population and Development in the Third World (PROP) in 1990 together with Prof. Staffan Lindberg. PROP served as an institutional consultant to Sida until 1997, with South Asia being one of the main areas of work. For example, in 1994 PROP published a comparative study: Understanding Reproductive Change: Kenya, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Costa Rica (Eds. Egerö and Mikael Hammarskjöld, Lund; official Swedish contribution to the UN Population conference in Cairo). It is currently run as an independent program, organising Minor Field Studies in demography, health, sociology, sociology of law, and social anthropology and many of the MFS students are going to South Asia for fieldwork. More information about PROP.
In 1997, Egerö and Lindberg started a consultancy called Social Development Consultants (Sodeco) as a subsidiary to InDevelop AB in Uppsala. Within this program, Egerö has worked as a consultant in South Asia, for example in Bangladesh, with a a review and evaluation of the Fourth Population and Health Project in 1998; and a review of the Health and Population Sector Programme in 1999. In Pakistan he has also been involved in an Assessment of the need for training on gender issues among UNDP Afghanistan staff and its PEACE partners.
• Sara Goodman (now International Coordinator at Lund University’s Centre for Gender Studies) defended a Licentiate thesis in 1995, titled ”Gender, Technology and Knowledge” dealing with India. She has later worked on a project on Global social movements, virtual feminism and local perspectives – A comparative study of Scandinavian Countries and India. This project is a pre-study of the use of information and communication technology within feminist and women’s movements in a global context. The project explores how feminist movements in Scandinavian countries and in India are using cyberspace and the Internet. Particular attention has been given to four types of activities. Firstly, to the use of the net by local activist women’s groups such as women crisis centres and how these groups use (or don’t use) the Internet in relationship to local members, to international feminist communities. Secondly, global feminist sites to be explored in relation to local groups. Thirdly governmental and trans-governmental organisations’ activities to be explored. Finally the use of the Internet within Women’s Studies to be studied as a special case.
Other South Asia related PhD theses:
• Charles Brown defended a doctoral dissertation titled ”The Goat is Mine, the Load is Yours. Morphogenetic Analysis of Bhotiya-Shauka” in 1984.
• Anders Hydén defended a doctoral dissertation titled ”Passage to India. An Anthropological Study of Discipleship and Transcendence in the Bhagawan Movement” in 1991. Dr. Hydén is now working at the Dept. of Caring Sciences and Sociology at University of Gävle.
• Pernille Gooch defended a doctoral dissertation titled ”At the Tail of the Buffalo: Van Gujjar Pastoralists between the Forest and World Arena” in 1998 (photo from the thesis cover to the right). Dr. Gooch is now working at the Division of Human Ecology, Department of European Ethnology, Lund University. More information about her research.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations Guest Professorships
During the academic year 2011/12, G K Karanth, Professor of Sociology at the Centre for Study of Social Change and Development, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore, was the second Visiting ICCR Professor at Lund University. He arrived in mid-September 2011 and stayed till June 2012, He was hosted by the Dept. of Sociology.
Prof. Karanth has a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, and his main research fields are Peasant Economy and Society; Caste and Social Stratification; Rural-Urban Linkages; and Sociology of Development. He was second Visiting ICCR Professor at Lund University.
An inaugural seminar with Professor Karanth was held on Thursday 6th October 2011. The theme for his lecture was ”Changing Rural India: Caste and Social Mobility”. His lecture was preceded with a short presentation by Ashok Sajjanhar, Ambassador of India to Sweden and Latvia. After the lecture, a cultural programme was organised with the Tabla player Subrata Manna, singer Sudokshina Manna, and Kathak dancer Sohini Debnath, all from Kolkata. See the full programme including an abstract for Prof. Karanth’s lecture.
The ICCR professorships at Lund University are an outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Lund University, that was signed on 22 June 2010 by Mr. Balkrishna Shetty, former Indian Ambassador to Sweden, and Prof. Per Eriksson, Vice-Chancellor, Lund University. The agreement is valid for four years, with a new Indian Professor to be selected each year. SASNET was actively involved in finalizing the ICCR professorship at Lund University, with strong support from the Embassy of India in Stockholm. More information.
In September 2013, Professor Kalyan Sankar Mandal from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C) in Kolkata became the second ICCR Professor to be hosted by the Dept. of Sociology. Mandal joined the position on 11th September, and stayed for the full academic year 2013/14. At IIM-C, he is Professor of Sociology within the Public Policy and Management Group. He defended his PhD at IIT Bombay in 1982 with a thesis entitled ”Inequality and Development in India: Study of an Equity-Oriented Rural Development Programme”, and later worked at Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics in Pune, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai. His research interest has primarily been Sociology of rural development, agriculture and food, education, poverty, social welfare and social policy.
Currently his research is focused on Business Solutions for Poverty. Prof. Mandal is shaping up of the idea of „social business‟ (unlike profit maximizing business, social business aims at achieving a social objective in a financial sustainable way) by an NGO with which he is closely associated. As one main cause of child malnutrition in India is unavailability of supplementary food for the children of the low income families, this NGO has set up a social business of a low cost nutritious supplementary food that it has developed. This food will be sold for the children of low income families at affordable prices for the poor for reducing malnutrition in a financially self-sustained manner through social business. This social business has been initiated with an award grant by the World Bank (more information).
On Wednesday 9th October 2013, Prof. Mandal held his installation lecture as Visiting Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) chair professor at Lund University, with a presentation entitled ”Regional Diversities in Indian Society”, focusing on regional variations in the status of women in India and the social development situation in India. Venue: Kulturens Hörsal, Tegnérplatsen, Lund. See the seminar poster.
After the presentation, Prof. Mandal received an impressive amount of questions and viewpoints from the numerous students attending the eminar, contesting his main arguments regarding a sharp cultural difference between North and South India put forward by him.
Indian Ambassador Banashri Bose Harrisson was the guest of honour, and she held an introductory speech. Welcome addresses were also delivered by Professor Sven Strömqvist, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Lund University; Associate Professor Ann-Katrin Bäcklund, Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences at Lund University; and Dr. Anna Lindberg, Director at SASNET. More information about the installation seminar.
On Tuesday 21 January 2014, at 12.00, Prof. Kalyan Mandal held a SASNET lecture at Lund University on ”Reaching Benefits of Anti-poverty Programmes to the Poor: The Indian Experience”. Venue: Conference room 1, Dept. of Sociology, Paradisgatan 5 G, Lund.
Abstract: Marginalised sections of the society often remain deprived of the fruits of development. This fact necessitates governments to design special development programmes aiming at benefiting the poor. In his presentation, Prof. Mandal reviewed Indian experiences in this regard. He traced the origins, evolution and shaping of pro-poor programmes in India, and analysed how and why these programmes often fail to benefit the poor. He also showed under what type of circumstances the poor get benefitted from such programmes.
Lund University Development Research Day 2005
The 2005 Lund University Development Research Day (Utvecklingsforskningens Dag) was held on Friday 14 October 2005. The theme for the day was ”Inverted Views of the World”, and the arrangement was hosted by the Dept. of Sociology, in collaboration with the Lund Association of International Affairs (UPF). The programme included short lectures in parallel sessions, by researchers and students presenting Minor Field Studies, many of them related to South Asia.
The keynote speaker was Professor Staffan Lindberg. His opening lecture was based on ongoing field work carried out in Tamil Nadu, and is titled ”In Wet and Dry – 25 years of change in rural South India”. After lunch, Dr. Pernille Gooch from the Human Ecology Division at Lund University lectured on ”Tribal Council Post-Tsunami Solutions for a Sustainable Future in the Central Nicobars”. The 2005 Hydén Award will also be given to the best undergraduate paper in development studies during the last year. Furthermore, there is a poster exhibition throughout the day, where departments and researchers present their research. Venue: Geocentrum building 1 (Dept. of Social and Economic Geography), Sölvegatan 10. The parallel sessions running both in the morning and afternoon, when researchers and students present their development research, will however take place within the temporary premises of the Dept. of Sociology, at Sölvegatan 7, close by. Full programme and other information (as a pdf-file).
Indian guest professor at the department
Professor Sucha Singh Gill from the Department of Economics at Punjabi University in Patiala, India, was a guest scholar at the Dept. of Sociology (and also at NIAS, the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies, Copenhagen) during the period 1–30 June 2006. Professor Gill is one of the foremost social scientists in India when it comes to the analysis of agricultural transformation and rural change with a specialization on Punjab and Northwest Indian agriculture. He has written extensively on agricultural economics and change, land reforms, resources mobilisation and farmers movements. In 2001 he authored Land Reforms in India, Vol. 6: Intervention for Capitalist Transformation in Punjab and Haryana (New Delhi: SAGE).
On 7 June 2006 he held a lecture on ‘Marginalised Peasantry Seeking Safe Exit in India in the Era of Globalisation’. Venue: Department of Sociology. More information (as a pdf-file)
Undergraduate Courses & International Masters Programme:
Since 1972, Staffan Lindberg and Göran Djurfeldt have been teaching special undergraduate courses on India/South Asia in sociology and development studies at the Department of Social and Economic Geography at Lund University. These courses have involved South Asia in several respects, like social structure and social change, development co-operation, agricultural development, etc. Djurfeldt is still engaged as teacher in development studies as is Abdulhadi Khalaf. Lindberg has taught several doctoral courses in development sociology in which South Asian theoretical and empirical aspects have been central.
In August 2001 the department started a 1 – 20 credit undergraduate course on India/South Asia at Österlen’s Folk High School in Tomelilla.
The department is often engaged in Minor Field Studies (MFS), the Sida financed grants programme for fieldwork for C-D students who wish to write an undergraduate thesis in the field of development studies. Link to website: http://www.soc.lu.se/mfs.
Many sociology students have done field work in South Asia as MFS. One of them is Rafaela Persson. In the Spring 2004 she spent a couple of months in Delhi, India, for a MFS case study of some companies and NGOs in Delhi. She then wrote a Masters thesis titled ”Social mobilization and child work”.
• Kjell Nilsson was involved in an International Internet-based Masters programme on ”Globalisation and Transformation in a Comparative Perspective”. In August 2003 he received SEK 50 000 as a SASNET planning grant for developing this programme through establishing institutional cooperation with Indian universities (teachers/researchers and students), with an intention that teachers and students from India would participate in the course from September 2004.
The planning grant was used for journeys to meet contact persons at the University of Mumbai (Dr S M Michael and Dr Rajesh Kharat) and Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (Professor Dipak Malik).
The Masters programme was started in 1999 as a a collaborative project between seven universities in four countries (Bulgaria, Germany, Romania and Sweden). The project was funded by the European Union. From 2004 the project expanded into Asia, by bringing in partner universities in China, Vietnam and India (including Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi and the University of Mumbai). It was also transformed into two part-time courses, with 30 ECTS credits each. Teachers and students were supposed to come from all the countries involved. The programme is now closed.