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The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University (The Mittal Institute) engages in interdisciplinary research to advance and deepen the understanding of critical issues of South Asia and its relationship to the world. 


About The Mittal Institute 

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 8, 2019 at 02:00pm  /  CGIS South, S450

Crisis and Credibility: The Politics of Ideas in India and Developing Democracies


Dr. Bilal A. Baloch is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI), Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science & Economics and a Lecturer and Regional Director in South Asia, Middle East and North Africa at The Joseph H. Lauder Institute, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

At CASI, Bilal focuses on the political economy of government behavior in India and other developing democracies. Here, he is revising his doctoral dissertation, Crisis, Credibility, and Corruption: How Ideas and Institutions Shape Government Behavior in India, into a monograph. Bilal has presented academic papers at several international conferences, including the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association. In addition to his scholarly publications, his commentary has appeared in a number of outlets, including: The Guardian, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, and The Hindu. (Source)

In this lecture, Bilal will go beyond the claim that ideas matter in Indian politics, and will identify which set of ideas, as well as how these ideas shape political behavior during a credibility crisis. He will examine two main credibility crisis moments in contemporary Indian history: that which led to the declaration of an internal emergency and suspension of civil liberties by the ruling Congress government in 1974-1975; and the crisis milieu which led to policy paralysis within the UPA government in 2011-2012. This argument draws upon over 120 interviews with state elites, including prime ministers, cabinet ministers, party leaders, senior bureaucrats, and others.

Fri, Feb 8, 2019 at 02:00pm

Fri, Feb 8, 2019

CGIS South, S450

1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

Tue, February 19, 2019 from 04:15pm - 06:00pm  /  CGIS South, S250

Book Talk: The Future Is Asian

Parag Khanna, Managing Partner of FutureMap, will discuss his new book entitled “The Future Is Asian,” in a talk chaired by Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School and Director of The Mittal Institute. 
This event is co-sponsored with the Harvard University Asia Center.
About the book:
“The ‘Asian Century‘ is even bigger than you think. Far greater than just China, the new Asian system taking shape is a multi-civilizational order spanning Saudi Arabia to Japan, and Russia to Australia—linking five billion people through trade, finance and infrastructure networks that together represent 40 percent of global GDP. From investment portfolios and trade wars to Hollywood movies and holiday travels, no aspect of life is immune from Asianization.
“Dr. Parag Khanna’s latest book, “The Future Is Asian,” presents this irrepressible global Asianization through detailed analysis, data and maps of Asia’s major markets and their combined impact on global economy, society and governance. With his trademark conceptual clarity and on-the-ground reportage, Khanna provides essential guidance for executives as they look to hedge their China exposure and capture the next big commercial opportunities across Asia from real estate and retail to finance and technology, and attract Asian capital and talent into their operations at home and abroad. With his intimate knowledge of Asian history and geopolitics, he also paints a compelling vision of a balanced global system of shared responsibilities across America, Europe and Asia.” (Parag Khanna, 2019)

Tue, Feb 19, 2019 at 04:15pm

Tue, Feb 19, 2019 at 06:00pm

CGIS South, S250
Harvard University

1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Fri, April 12, 2019 at 02:00pm  /  CGIS South, S153

De Facto Suffrage: A Field Experiment to Improve Women’s Turnout in Pakistan’s General Elections


Sarah Khan, Postgraduate Associate, Yale MacMillan Center

Sarah Khan is a postgraduate associate at the Yale MacMillan Center. Her research interests lie at the intersection of gender and comparative politics, with a regional specialization in South Asia. In her work, she explores gender gaps in political preferences, and the barriers to women’s participation and substantive representation in Pakistan. Additionally, she explores questions related to the prevention of violence against women. Her research has been generously supported by grants from the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, the Abdul Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) Governance Initiative, and the National Science Foundation.

Khan has worked with Ali Cheema, Shandana Mohmand, and Asad Liaqat to research potential pathways to increasing women’s voter registration and turnout in Pakistan, culminating in a paper entitled “Exercising Her Right: Civic and Political Action as Pathways for Increasing Women’s Turnout in Pakistan.” According to the team, “there is a large and persistent gender gap in voter registration and turnout in Pakistan, making for a heavily male-skewed electorate in all levels of Pakistani elections. This has implications both for the quality of democracy, and for women’s substantive representation in politics.”

Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 02:00pm

Fri, Apr 12, 2019

CGIS South, S153
Harvard University

1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138


Professor Pawan Sinha Visits The Mittal Institute’s India Office

Professor Pawan Sinha, leader of the scientific foundation Project Prakash, recently visited the India office of The Mittal Institute to discuss potential expansion strategies and how the India office can help the foundation achieve its larger goals. In addition to his leadership of Project Prakash, he is a professor of vision and computational neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Understanding the Taboo of Interfaith Relationships: Visiting Artist Profile

Samsul Alam Helal is a photographer from Dhaka, Bangladesh, who aims to capture the challenges of such relationships in his home city. He has spend the fall of 2018 in Cambridge as a Visiting Artist Fellow at the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute. The program enables talented, accomplished artists from South Asia to elevate and share their work with the Harvard community.

Applications Open: Seed for Change 2019

The Seed for Change Program (SFC) is an annual competition run by The Mittal Institute, in which grant prizes will be awarded to interdisciplinary student projects that positively impact societal, economic, and environmental issues in India and Pakistan. First deadline: Dec 21, 2018.

Meritocracy: What Lessons Can India Learn From China?

The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University, have been jointly researching how talent is allocated in a society, how meritocracy has been conceptualized in both India and China, and how its definition has changed over time. Michael Szonyi, Frank Wen-Hsiung Memorial Professor of Chinese History and Director of the Fairbank Center, gave a lecture on ‘Meritocracy in China: Past and Present’ in Delhi on November 26, 2018, as a part of the larger project. 

Trauma and Memory: Healing Through Art

Earlier this month, Kabi Raj Lama spoke at the Lalit Kala Akademi, India’s national academy of arts. His talk, entitled ‘Trauma and Memory: Healing through Art’, retraced his life story; he spoke of art, natural disasters and mental health. The event followed a 3-day workshop on stone lithography with the artist and students at the Akademi.