Research reports, books and publications

The Inequality and Poverty Research Programme in the Department of Anthropology at London School of Economics (LSE) organized a workshop on ‘Inequality and Poverty in South Asia’ on 24–25 April 2014. The workshop marks the research that is about to be carried out, over the next three years, by a team of researchers on the persistence of poverty amongst Adivasis and Dalits in India. The Research Programme is funded by major awards from the UK Economic and Social Research Council and the EU European Research Council Starting Grant (more information).
The participants list at the workshop included Associate Professor – Reader Alpa Shah (photo), who is the Principal Investigator of the Research Programme; Uday Chandra, Research Fellow at Max Planck institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Department of Religious DiversityJonathan Pattenden, Lecturer in Politics and International Development, School of International Development, University of East Anglia; and Alf Nielsen, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of BergenEvery paper presentation was followed by comments from selected discussants, among them Associate Professor Beppe Karlsson from the Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University; Barbara Harriss-White, Senior Research Fellow, School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, Oxford; and Jens Lerche, Reader in Agrarian And Labour Studies, SOAS, London.
SASNET was represented in London by its former director Professor Staffan Lindberg. Read his conference report.

The Third NFG (Nachwuchsforschungsgruppe) Academic Council Meeting was held in New Delhi, India, on 26-27 September 2013 in association with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the Observer Research Foundation, and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung India. The Conference on ‘Europe’s Role for Security in a Multipolar World: the Views from India and China’ brought together academics, practitioners, and policy makers from Europe, India and China, with the aim of bridging the gap between academic and policy debates in Asia and Europe. 
This third Annual Conference built upon the discussions and results of previous conferences in Berlin (2011) and Beijing (2012), and brought together a community of distinguished policy-makers and scholars from India, China, Japan, the United States and Europe to discuss and compare their perspectives on Asian perceptions of the EU as a security actor.
The conference also provided a platform to present the most recent findings from extensive field research in the NFG’s two core case studies: EU-Asian cooperation in (i) peacekeeping and (ii) export control regimes. Discussion also centred on the role of strategic partnerships, diff erences between the EU and the US model of security, as well as past, present and future roles for the EU as a security actor in Asia.
A full report of the Conference has now been released. Go for the report.

The yearly seminar in Copenhagen to celebrate the birth anniversary of Allama Iqbal, the renowned national poet and philosopher of Pakistan was held at Skt. Johannesgården, Copenhagen on 9th November 2013. It was arranged jointly by Iqbal Academy Scandinavia and the Islamic-Christian Study Centre.
The theme of the day was ‘Iqbal and Democracy.’ The main organizer of the event was the highly learned and well known Lady Dr. theol. Lissi Rasmussen. She has been personally organizing all yearly Iqbal Day functions of November for the past several years in consultation with Dr. Safet Bectovic and Dr. Jørgen S. Nielsen. The whole day event was divided into two sessions.
The first part started at 10.30, moderated by Lissi Rasmussen. Ghulam Sabir opened the seminar and gave the welcome speech. The main guest speaker was Professor M. Sharif Baqa from London. In his highly learned way of addressing a mix gathering of audience including intellectuals and common people Prof Baqa made an interesting speech on “Introduction to Iqbal’s view of society”. This was followed by a warm discussion in which the audience put up so many questions which were replied by Prof. Baqa elaborately. This followed with a coffee break of fifteen minutes.
The theme of the next sitting was “Moral, ethical and spiritual aspects”. The speakers were Dr. Iram Khawaja, Postdoc at the Department of Education (DPU), University of Copenhagen, and Uzma Rehman from Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, who spoke on the meaning of religiosity in the everyday life of Muslims. After the two speeches the lunch was offered to all the speakers and guests. The second part started at 1.30 pm, which was conducted by Dr. Safet Bectovic. The subject for this part was “Iqbal and Democracy today” (The relevance of Iqbal’s ideals today). After that a panel consisting of Tarek Hussein, Law student and Bashy Qureshi, Secretary General Emico (European Muslim Initiative for social cohesion expressed their respective views on the topic. Then the coffee break was announced by Dr. Safet Bectovic. After the coffee break there was another warm discussion among the audience and the speakers till the end of the function declared by the Moderator Dr. Safet Bectovic. 
Read SASNET report on Iqbal Seminar held in 2011. 

ÖrecommMemory on Trial: Media, Citizenship and Social Justice” was the overarching theme for the third Ørecomm Festival, 13–16 September 2013, a four-day event that brought an inspiring mix of seminars, lectures and conferences to Malmö, Copenhagen and Roskilde. It was jointly organised by Roskilde University and the School of Arts and Communication, Faculty of Culture and Society, Malmö University. All presentations are now available on the web.
The previous 2012 Festival featured an Indian panel, as a result of a collaboration project entitled ”Memories of Modernity II” between Malmö University and the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore. This experimental project of combined academic and artistic research was now documented during one of the workshops at the third Ørecomm Festival, on Sunday 15 September. Papers were presented by Nicolas Grandi and Deepak Srinavasan from Srishti, and Jyothsna Belliappa, who recently moved to Azim Premji University in Bangalore (see link page to their presentations). Itziar Ancin from K3 also presented a paper entitled ”The Kabir Project. Mumbai and Bangalore” (Itziar seen on photo to the right). See her presentation. The workshop was moderated by Oscar Hemer, who also concluded the workshop with a presentation entitled “Bengaluru Boogie: Outlines for an Ethnographic Fiction” (see the presentation). 
A separate workshop was dedicated to the issue of  “Methods of Analysis in Ethnographic Studies of Mediated Memories”, condducted by the Media/Ethnography Group with Annette Markham, S. Elizabeth Bird and Jo Tacchi. Finally, another South Asia related event took place at the Festival, when Urvashi Butalia (photo tothe left), Publisher, Kali for Women in New Delhi, India, held a presentation entitled “Difficult Memories: Speaking about Sexual Violence” (see her presentation).
On the first day of the workshop, held in Roskilde, there were also presentations about Bhutan. Devi Bhakta Suberi from Roskilde University talked about “ICT for Good Governance in Bhutan”; and Dorji S., Sangay Thinley & Thinley Namgyel from Sherubtse College in Bhutan, talked about Citizen-State Relationship in Democratic Bhutan: A Post 2008 Analysis of People’s Views” (see link page to their presentations).
More information about Ørecomm 2013 with full programme.

The India Studies Center of the Mykolo Romeris University in Vilnius, Lithuania, organised a higly interesting conference entitled  ”Contemporary India: Challenges and Prospects” on 7–8 October 2013. The initiative came from Rajsekhar Basu, current ICCR Visiting Professor in Contemporary Indian Studies at the university, and it drew participants from India and several European countries. Professor Staffan Lindberg, Lund University (and former SASNET Director), delivered the key note address on Rural Transformation in India. Other speakers included Dr. Stig Toft Madsen from the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies in Copenhagen; and Dr. Benjamin Zachariah, University of Heidelberg. See the programme.

A two-day International Seminar on “New Social Movements in the Era of Globalization” was organized by the Rajiv Gandhi Chair in Contemporary Studies at theDepartment of Political Science, University of Allahabad, India on February 22-23, 2013. A report has been compiled by Ms. Nandini Basistha, Senior Research Fellow, Rajiv Gandhi Chair in Contemporary Studies, University of Allahabad. Read the seminar report.

The US National Bureau of Asian Research has released a report examining India's domestic and international security challenges. In the report, entitled ”India's Internal Security Challenges”, Ajai Sahni, Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi, India, argues that India's fractious democracy faces significant internal strife and is hobbled by incoherent policy responses and enduring deficits in capacity. Despite these troubles, Dr. Sahni suggests that the country's internal security system has demonstrated extraordinary resilience, with several dramatic successes in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism.
In the second part of the report, ”Managing Multipolarity: India's Security Strategy in a Changing World”, C. Raja Mohan – Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi – discusses the impact of the emerging multipolar world on India's foreign and national security policies and examines the new imperatives for the country to go beyond its enduring strategy of nonalignment – including the further development of the U.S.-India strategic relationship.
Read the whole report here (free access through 20 July 2012).

The European University Institute (EUI) recently published a report on the ”Indian migration and population in Sweden” compiled by Assistant Professor Kristina Myrvold from the Dept. of History and Anthropology of Religion at Lund University. The publication provides an overview of the migration and the demographic and socio-economic profile of the Indian population in Sweden. Dr. Myrvold's study shows that Indians in contemporary Sweden have diverse migrations histories and constitute a more heterogeneous group of people with different economic, social and cultural backgrounds. In general the Indians have succeeded fairly well in their economic, social and cultural integration into Swedish society, while their political participation has been more restricted.
In 2010 the number of Indian-born individuals recorded for Sweden amounted to 17,863 individuals. The statistics further indicate that within a ten-year period, between 2000 and 2010, the population of Indian origin has increased by 61 percent.
In addition, Sweden has a growing second and second-point-five generation with children of Indian origin as well as inter-ethnic families. As of 2010, there were 2,109 Sweden-born persons with both parents from India and 5,592 persons with one Indian and one Swedish parent. 
The publication is part of a larger European project called ”Developing a knowledge base for policymaking on India-EU migration”. The project was officially launched on 4 March 2011 and is carried out by EUI in partnership with the Indian Council of Overseas Employment, (ICOE), the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, (IIMB), and Maastricht University (Faculty of Law) with the main goal to consolidate a constructive dialogue between the EU and India on migration covering all migration-related aspects. Go for the full report.

In February 2012, the US National Bureau of Asian Research released a report on the ”Health Security Challenges in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh” written by Amal Jayawardane (Regional Centre for Strategic Studies) and Abbas Bhuiya (ICDDR,B). The report examines the health challenges confronting Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and evaluates the political, economic, and social implications for each country. It is a result of a three-year study on ”Non-Traditional Regional Security Architecture for South Asia” and is organised in two major parts: one on Emerging Health Challenges for Sri Lanka in the New Millenium, and another on Health Threats as Nontraditional Security Challenges for Bangladesh. The report is available for free until 25 April 2012. Go for it.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in New Delhi has published a shocking report on the problems of water and environment in India. CSE is a prestigious Indian research institute with several Swedish connections, including receiving a substantial financial assistance from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency Sida since 1989 and onwards. Its Director Sunita Narain was also previously a member of the board of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and she has been a regular key speaker at the Stockholm World Water Week, held in August every year. 
The report, entitled ”Excreta Matters: How urban India is soaking up water, polluting rivers and drowning in its own waste” is the first and most comprehensive survey bringing light on the horrendous crisis of water scarcity and growing threat of water pollution in Indian cities. It presents a detailed city-by-city analysis of the situation on the ground. The findings are based on a nationwide survey, in which primary data on the state of water and waste provisioning was collected. The authors used this data for analysis and also put together an assessment of the challenges ahead. The book would be of immense value to professionals and decision makers in the Central and State Governments besides academicians, researchers, NGOs and all major Libraries. Go for the report.