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Publication by Prof. Rahul Mukherji, Hossein Zarhani and K. Raju

The Indian Journal of Human Development recently published an artcle jointly edited by Prof. Rahul Mukherji, Hossein Zarhani and K. Raju entitled "State Capacity and Welfare Politics in India: Implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Undivided Andhra Pradesh". Further information is available here.


This article argues that the Indian state can develop the capacity to deliver economic rights in a citizen-friendly way, despite serious challenges posed by patronage politics and clientelism. Clientelistic politics reveals why the Indian state fails to deliver the basic rights such as the right to work, health and education. We argue that the ability of the state to deliver owes a lot to bureaucratic puzzling and political powering over developmental ideas in a path-dependent way. We combine powering and puzzling within the state to argue the case for how these ideas tip after they have gained a fair amount of traction within the state. We test the powering and puzzling leading to a tipping point model on the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in undivided Andhra Pradesh (AP). How and why did undivided AP develop the capacity to make reach employment to the rural poor, when many other states failed to implement the right to work in India?


Book Presentation "Studies in Historical Documents from Nepal and India"

The Nepalese edition of the book "Studies in Historical Documents from Nepal and India" edited by Simon Cubelic, Axel Michaels and Astrid Zotter on behalf of Heidelberg Academy of Science and Humanities, was launched by the National Archives of Nepal during the Archives Day on the 3rd of October in Kathmandu. The book was jointly launched by the celebrated culture expert Satya Mohan Joshi and the minister of the Culture of the Government of Nepal, Rabindra Adhikari. During the book launch, the book was introduced by Rajan Khatiwoda, one of the members of the editorial board.

This volume is the outcome of the conference “Studying Documents in Premodern South Asia and Beyond: Problems and Perspective”, held in October 2015 in Heidelberg.

In bringing together experts from different fields—including Indology, Tibetology, History, Anthropology, Religious Studies, and Digital Humanties—it aims at exploring and rethinking issues of diplomatics and typology, the place of documents in relation to other texts and literary genres, methods of archiving and editing documents, as well as their “social life”, i.e. the role they play in social, religious and political constellations, the agents and practices of their use, and the norms and institutions they embody and constitute.

The book is the first volume of the Documenta Nepalica – Book Series, published by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in collaboration with the National Archives, Nepal.

Further information is available here.


Public Lecture by Prof. Dr. William Sax on 30 October 2018

On Tuesday, 30 October 2018 at 11:30, Prof. Dr. William Sax (Head of Department of Anthropology, SAI) will give a public lecture at the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, to the 31st annual "Heidelberg Gespräch" entitled "Psychiatrische Begutachtung und interkulturelle Kompetenz aus Kulturanthropologischer Sicht".

The Heidelberg Gespräch is an annual Further Education Conference in the areas of Social Medicine and Social Law for Experts like Doctors, Psychologists, Caregivers and Lawyers

Further information on the program is available here.


Article by Prof. Gita Dharampal-Frick in „Entre mers - Outre-mer: Spaces, Modes and Agents of Indo-Mediterranean Connectivity“

Heidelberg University Publishing recently published the book "Entre mers – Outre-mer: Spaces, Modes and Agents of Indo-Mediterranean Connectivity", edited by Nikolas Jaspert and Sebastian Kolditz. The publication comprises a collection of twelve essays on transmarine compounds, their regulation and mental expansion in an Indo-Mediterranean context. Prof. Gita Dharampal-Frick (former head of History at the SAI) contributed with an article on "Transcultural Networks: From the Red Sea to the South China Sea, 1000–1800. Continuities and Transformations".


In focusing on transcultural networks of the Indo-Mediterranean, this paper aims to provide insights into the cultural and economic genealogies of globalisation as well as into the divergent ancestries of its social geographies. Its methodological objective is to examine the extensive Indian,Southeast Asian, Arab and Chinese interaction in the littoral regions of Malabar,the Bay of Bengal, the Indonesian Archipelago and the South China Seas in the medieval and early modern period. Thereby, rather than underscoring the significance of merely economic factors implicated in this maritime connectivity, other relevant (and hitherto largely neglected) aspects will be discussed, namely the enactment of political sovereignty (as a layered and shared concept), the crucial significance of resilient networks (defined by mercantile, cultural and social factors) as well as of widespread dynamic diasporic communities (of Chinese, Southeast Asians, Indians, Persians and Arabs), and last but not least, the flow and exchange of ‘cargoes’ (including both commodities and intellectual ideas). In doing so, an attempt will be made to ascertain the continuities and transformations (subsequent to the entry of European companies) in the pelagic patchwork quilt of the Eastern Indian Ocean until the beginning of the 19th century.

The full publication is freely available here. The article by Prof. Gita Dharampal-Frick is accessible here.

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News from previous years

Lectures and Events

Montag, 22.10.2018
India in the Age of Super States
Zeit: 16:00 Uhr
Ort: 317, INF 330
Referent: Prof. Alasdair Roberts, University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA), School of Public Policy
Veranstalter: Abteilung Politische Wissenschaft
Dienstag, 23.10.2018
Dienstag, 30.10.2018
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