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  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: This year’s Democracy Report shows that the trend of a third wave autocratization – the decline of democratic regime traits – continues and now affects 24 countries. When we weight levels of democracy by population size – because democracy is rule by the people and it matters how many of them are concerned – it emerges that almost one third of the world’s population live in countries undergoing autocratization. Yet democracy still prevails in a majority of countries in the world (99 countries, 55 percent). This section analyses the state of democracy in the world in 2018 and developments since 1972, with an emphasis on the last 10 years. Our analysis builds on the 2019 release of the V-Dem dataset.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Developing World, Democracy, Populism
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Ukraine, India, Brazil
  • Author: Hafsa Kanjwal
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 5 August 2019, the Indian government unilaterally changed the legal status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, undermining its own constitutional process and completely annexing a territory that remains disputed in the international arena. In a statement to the Indian parliament, the Indian Home Minister announced the abrogation of Kashmir’s special status enshrined in Article 370 of the Indian constitution, as well as the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories to be directly governed by the central government. Since then, the government has placed Indian-occupied Kashmir on lockdown. Despite restrictions on the movement of reporters and human rights observers and a clampdown on communication infrastructure (including the internet and some phone services), there have been reports of widespread human rights abuses including extrajudicial detentions (including of minors), torture, sexual violence, and lack of access to basic medical and healthcare services.
  • Topic: Post Colonialism, Territorial Disputes, Self Determination, Colonialism, Empire
  • Political Geography: India, East Asia, Kashmir
  • Author: Mani Shankar Aiyar
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Elected three times to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament, and nominated by the President to Rajya Sabha, the upper house, for a further six years, Aiyar has served for 21 years in the Indian Parliament, been conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award (2006), and been a Cabinet Minister for five years (2004-09). He has authored seven books, including Confession of a Secular Fundamentalist, and edited the three volumes of Rajiv Gandhi’s India.
  • Topic: Religion, Law, Democracy, Citizenship, Religious Law, Secularism
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Parag Khanna
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Parag Khanna is a leading global strategic advisor, world traveler, and best-selling author. He is the founder & managing partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. Parag’s newest book is The Future is Asian: Com- merce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century (2019). He is author of a trilogy of books on the future of world order beginning with The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008), followed by How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011), and concluding with Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization (2016). He is also author of Technocracy in America: Rise of the Info-State (2017) and co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (2012). In 2008, Parag was named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” and featured in WIRED Magazine’s “Smart List.” He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Bachelors and Masters degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Cartography
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: José Eduardo Cassiolato, Maria Gabriela von Bochkor Podcameni, Elisa Possas Gomes, Manuel Gonzalo
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: BRICS Policy Center
  • Abstract: In the 21st century, economic growth, increasing urbanization, demographic expansion, and advances in electrification as important drivers of energy demand have put significant pressure on the Indian energy landscape. Indeed, energy infrastructure problems are a major hindrance to India’s economic growth. The central objective of this paper is to present and analyze some of the main State-led policy efforts that have been put in place to address India’s energy challenge. In particular, we examine three main types of state-led energy policy in India: a) infrastructure expenditure, b) Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) investments and Research and Development (R&D) strategies, and c) electrification. Firstly, we present and examine current data on the role of the state in the development of India’s energy sector. Secondly, we provide a nuanced examination of the role of public-private relations in India’s energy sector, especially in contrast to the widespread advancement of the neoliberal agenda in the country recent years. We conclude that the Indian State has fostered an increasing participation of the private sector in infrastructure, especially in renewable energies in which PPPs type of procurement have been more relevant. CPSEs’ expenditure in R&D has been of main importance in oil as well as in power. However, most of them tend to adapt foreign technologies instead of balancing foreign technologies with domestic technological efforts. Therefore, a main contemporary challenge for the Indian CPSEs performing in the energy sector is to deepen their connections and interaction with the other Indian NSI actors. Through the electrification process, the State has created markets for the private sector. Finally, we recommend further energy-related questions to be addressed in future research projects.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, United Nations, Public Sector, Renewable Energy, Private Sector, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Sheela Bhide
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: Many political analysts are of the view that the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh is one of the most controversial bifurcations of a State in recent history. After all, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh were bifurcated in the year 2000. There were problems in those States also, but none of the acrimony and bitterness that was seen in Andhra Pradesh. What really went wrong in Andhra Pradesh? Could it have been done differently? Are there any lessons that can be learnt? This paper has been prepared by a civil servant who was directly involved in the process of bifurcation as the Chairperson of the Expert Committee for recommending the bifurcation of the State Public Sector Units. In the process, the Expert Committee members were exposed to aspects of the bifurcation of State Government assets and liabilities as well. The issues have been divided into three categories: political, legislative and administrative.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Legislation, Nation-State
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Kishore Singh
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: There is widespread concern today with the ‘values crisis’. Moral and ethical values are sinking, and materialistic pursuits generated by the neo liberal economy are thriving. Mushrooming of privatisation in education, giving rise to the phenomenon of ‘edu-business’ in India, fosters this trend. This makes a mockery of India’s great traditions in education, her spiritual heritage and civilisational values in which gyaan or vidhya is not a commodity—a vyapaar and in which education has no lucrative purpose. Moreover, ‘edu-business’ is also an affront to the ideals embodied in our constitution. We seem to have lost all respect for our philosophical foundations and civilisational values where knowledge is free, and the head is held high. Use of digital devices also adds to the values crisis, as evidenced by fake degrees awarded by Internet-based learning, as well as the potentially harmful effects of various sites on the minds of children and adults. Many countries around the world are recognising the need and importance of overcoming the values crisis by promoting human values as a primary vocation of education. India, with its rich spiritual heritage and philosophical traditions, should be at the forefront in such initiatives. It is all the more imperative for India to play a pioneering role in value-based education since the thrust of India’s spiritual quest had been ‘universalist’, which makes it the heritage of the whole of humanity. Transformation of the education system in that spirit calls for radical measures. The challenging task is to evolve a new architecture for education in India, in which core human values derived from India’s philosophical legacy and spiritual heritage, as well as from ideals and principles enshrined in India’s constitution, permeate the entire education system. Value-based education is invaluable in mitigating and overcoming many woes that afflict our society.
  • Topic: Education, Ethics, Neoliberalism, Values
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Gopalkrishna Gandhi
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: As the title of this lecture suggests, it is about dissent, the right to dissent, the freedom to differ, to be able to say ‘I disagree; in fact I oppose…’. And to do so without fear. But no right comes without some difficulty. And sure enough, as I began working on this text, my late brother Professor Ramchandra Gandhi, Ramu as he was widely known, appeared in a hallucinated vision, to express dissent, strong disagreement, over the title of this lecture. He said to me in his inimitable mix of Hindi, Tamil and English: ‘Maine tumhare Mushirul Hasan lecture ka title “Freedom & Sons Ltd.” dekha hai… aur uska matlab samajh rahaa huun… lekin... Freedom & Sons Ltd… Sons…illai …illai….konchum politically incorrect…and not konchum, in fact romba incorrect, romba gender insensitive…. It may have passed muster some twenty or thirty years ago but not today…and certainly not in the IIC where Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay’s spirit is alive, where Durgabai Deshmukh peers over her husband’s shoulders to see that all is done right….The title obscures …in fact it nullifies the roles of India’s daughters…from Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi and Begum Hazrat Mahal of Avadh to Madame Cama and Annie Besant, Kasturba Gandhi who died, don’t forget, in a Raj prison, and Maulana Azad’s wife Zuleikha Begum who died in Calcutta when he was in the Ahmednagar Fort Prison and would not seek parole…. And then, no less than any of these…the women who stood for freedom not from the white man’s domination but from that of our own male-controlled society, like Mirabai, who broke out of the court and palace to public spaces singing of Krishna, the great emancipator, and M. S. Subbulakshmi, who broke out of the Carnatic kutcheri’s strict repertory to sing Mirabai’s songs of Krishna…’.
  • Topic: Freedom of Expression, Civil Rights, Freedom, Dissent, Free Speech
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Gagandeep Kang
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: Where are we today with regard to the role of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine (among other fields), women in leadership roles, and what are the challenges that lie ahead of us? In that context, it is very interesting to address both biology and sociology, and the reason we need to address the former is that explanations for why societies manifest in certain ways, or not, often hinge on our recourse to biology in various ways. As far as biology goes, humans are the consequence of hundreds of million years of evolution, from unicellular organisms to multiple kinds of multicellular organisms. There are a great number of animals with behaviour and nervous systems, and functions and physiology, which have many similarities with humans. Many animals run, many walk, many taste and smell in ways we do, and so on. Some animals fly, we do not. That brings us to sociology, and how our societies grew. Humans are distinct from other animals, in that, over evolutionary time, we chanced upon ways by which we could throw objects, and therefore make tools and engineer nature. We could speak and therefore communicate with each other and develop language.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Science and Technology, Women, Medicine , Evolution
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Come Carpentier de Gourdon
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: Indian civilisation has, time and again, influenced French literary and artistic life in various ways, more particularly from the mid-17th century, when the travel accounts of Francois Bernier and Jean-Baptiste Tavernier achieved great popularity in an intellectual class exposed to the fine goods imported by the French East India Company (la compagnie des Indes), or bought by traders. These included Golkonda diamonds, carved ivory, muslin, indigo, cashmere shawls, printed cotton fabrics known as ‘Indiennes’ or ‘madras’ , ‘Coromandel’ screens and miniatures of the Mughal school. The first poems, fables, novels, comedies and operas on Indian themes appeared in Europe in the years that followed.
  • Topic: Culture, Literature
  • Political Geography: India, France