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SAI Event Topic : Joint Seminar on South Asian Politics

Political Misinformation in India: Evidence from Experimental Solutions

START
Fri, Sep 24, 2021 at 12:00pm

END
Fri, Sep 24, 2021

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Webinar

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Dr. Sumitra Badrinathan is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford. In May 2021, she received a PhD in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include studying misinformation, media effects and political behavior, with a regional focus on India.

Sumitra’s dissertation evaluates the effectiveness of interventions to combat political misinformation in India and the power of partisanship and motivated reasoning to affect information processing. To shed light on these questions, her research has focused on techniques to fight fake news on WhatsApp and digital literacy trainings to decrease vulnerability to misinformation. Her work has appeared in academic journals such as the American Political Science Review well as popular press such as The Washington Post. Methodologically, Sumitra uses experimental and survey methods to study the relationship between newer forms of media like WhatsApp and their effect on trust in news, polarization, political participation, and quality of democracy.

Originally from Mumbai, India, Sumitra holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Psychology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

A Joint Sem­i­nar on South Asian Pol­i­tics co-sponsored by the Watson Institute at Brown, the Weatherhead Center and South Asia Institute at Harvard and the MIT Center for International Studies


The Past and Future of India-China Relations

START
Fri, Oct 29, 2021 at 10:00am

END
Fri, Oct 29, 2021

VENUE
Webinar

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Join Kanti Prasad Bajpai, Vijay Gokhal, and Shivshankar Menon, Tanvi Madan and Taylor Fravel to discuss relations between China and India.

Chair: Vipin Narang, MIT

Vijay Gokhale is a nonresident senior fellow at Carnegie India.  Mr. Gokhale retired from the Indian Foreign Service in January 2020 after a diplomatic career that spanned thirty-nine years. From January 2018 to January 2020, he served as the foreign secretary of India. 

Prior to his term as foreign secretary, Mr. Gokhale had served as India’s high commissioner to Malaysia from January 2010 to October 2013, as ambassador of India to the Federal Republic of Germany from October 2013 to January 2016, and as ambassador of India to the People’s Republic of China from January 2016 to October 2017. He has served as head of the India-Taipei Association, in Taiwan, from July 2003 to January 2007. During his time in the headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs, he has also worked in key positions in the East Asia Division, including as the joint secretary (Director General) for East Asia from March 2007 to December 2009. 

In his new book, ‘The Long Game: How the Chinese Negotiate with India’, Gokhale unpacks the dynamics of India-China relations through the prism of six historical and recent events. The book gives a practitioner’s insight into strategies, tactics, and tools that China uses for diplomatic negotiations.

Shivshankar Menon is a Distinguished Fellow at CSEP and a Visiting Professor at Ashoka University. His long career in public service spans diplomacy, national security, atomic energy, disarmament policy, and India’s relations with its neighbours and major global powers. Menon served as national security advisor to the Indian Prime Minister from January 2010 to May 2014. He currently serves as chairman of the advisory board of the Institute of Chinese Studies in New Delhi. He was also a Distinguished Fellow with Brookings India. He is the author of “Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy” published by the Brookings Press and Penguin Random House in 2016. His new book, “India and Asian Geopolitics; The Past, Present” is likely to be out in 2021.

Menon has previously served as foreign secretary of India from October 2006 to August 2009 and as ambassador and high commissioner of India to Israel (1995-1997), Sri Lanka (1997-2000), China (2000-2003) and Pakistan (2003-2006). From 2008 to 2014, he was also a member of India’s Atomic Energy Commission. A career diplomat, he also served in India’s missions to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Geneva and the United Nations in New York.

In his new book, India and Asian Geopolitics: The Past, PresentMenon traces India’s approach to the shifting regional landscape since its independence in 1947. From its leading role in the “nonaligned” movement during the cold war to its current status as a perceived counterweight to China, India often has been an after-thought for global leaders—until they realize how much they needed it.

Kanti Prasad Bajpai is a Professor of Asian Studies at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Director of the Centre on Asia and Globalisation.Bajpai is an expert on a range of policy issues, including international relations theory, international security, regional cooperation in South Asia, and Indian security and foreign policy.

Previously, he was Professor of International Politics, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Professor in the Politics and International Relations of South Asia, Oxford University. From 2003 to 2009, he was Headmaster, The Doon School, India. He taught at the Maharajah Sayajirao University of Baroda, and has held visiting appointments at Wesleyan University, Columbia University, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has also held visiting appointments at the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace, Notre Dame University, the Brookings Institution, and the Australian Defence Force Academy. Most recently, he was Distinguished Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Kanti writes a regular column for the Times of India (New Delhi).

In his new book, India Versus China : Why they are not friends, Bajpai decodes the complex history of India–China relations and argues that the path ahead is a difficult one that could see more military confrontations, including violent border clashes. Crucial to the relationship will be India’s ability to reduce the enormous gap with China in economic, military, and even soft power.

A Joint Sem­i­nar on South Asian Pol­i­tics co-sponsored by the Watson Institute at Brown, the Weatherhead Center and South Asia Institute at Harvard and the MIT Center for International Studies


Vaccinating India Against Covid: Lessons from History

START
Fri, Nov 19, 2021 at 11:00am

END
Fri, Nov 19, 2021

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Harish Naraindas is professor of sociology at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and honorary professor at the Alfred Deakin Institute, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University. He was adjunct faculty at the University of Iowa (2004-19); joint-appointments professor of the Cluster of Excellence, University of Heidelberg (2008-12); visiting professor at the department of sociology, University of Freiburg (2009); and DAAD visiting professor at the department of anthropology, University of Heidelberg (2017). He works on the history and sociology of science and medicine and has published on a range of topics, including an epistemological history of tropical medicine, a comparative history of smallpox from the 18th to the 20th century, on the creolisation of contemporary Ayurveda, on spa medicine in Germany, on pregnancy and childbirth within the context of competing medical epistemes, and recently on how anthropology attempts to explain the non-human. He is currently working on AyurGenomics and P4 medicine; past-life aetiologies and therapeutic trance in German psychosomatic medicine; a multi-sited study of perinatal loss and bereavement in the Anglophone world; and on the pedagogy and practice of obstetrics in India. Among his recent publications are a co-edited special issue of Anthropology and Medicine called ‘The fragile medical: the slippery terrain between medicine, anthropology and societies’ (2017), and two co-edited books: Healing holidays: itinerant patients, therapeutic locales and the quest for health (London: Routledge, 2015), and Asymmetrical conversations: contestations, circumventions and the blurring of therapeutic boundaries (New York: Berghahn, 2014).

Discussant:
Prerna Singh, 
Brown University

A Joint Sem­i­nar on South Asian Pol­i­tics co-sponsored by the Watson Institute at Brown, the Weatherhead Center and South Asia Institute at Harvard and the MIT Center for International Studies


How do Gender Quotas Impact Accountability?

START
Fri, Dec 3, 2021 at 12:00pm

END
Fri, Dec 3, 2021

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Zuheir Desai is an assistant Professor in the School of Global and Public Affairs at IE University. His research focuses on electoral competition and political accountability. His work spans both theoretical models of elections, voting, and policymaking, as well as empirical applications of these models on developing democracies such as Brazil and India. Previously, Desai was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Politics at Princeton University in the 2020-21 academic year. He received my Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Rochester in 2020.

A Joint Sem­i­nar on South Asian Pol­i­tics co-sponsored by the Watson Institute at Brown, the Weatherhead Center and South Asia Institute at Harvard and the MIT Center for International Studies


Representation from Below: How Women Mobilize in India’s Weak Party System

START
Fri, Apr 9, 2021 at 11:00am

END
Fri, Apr 9, 2021 at 12:30pm

VENUE
Webinar

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Tanushree Goyal is a fourth and final year PhD candidate at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. Goyal is also an academy scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Harvard University. Starting in Fall 2022, she will join Princeton University as an Assistant Professor in Politics and International Affairs. Her research interests lie at the intersections of comparative politics, gender, and development with a regional focus in South Asia. Goyal’s dissertation uses natural, survey, and quasi-experiments to examine important questions in the field of representation and accountability and is set in the context of the World’s largest democracy: India. It shows how female politicians affect change by influencing intra-party politics in the context of India’s urban cities. Female politicians incorporate women as intermediaries and establish cross-electoral level networks to influence political campaigns and party decisions. This “representation from below” fundamentally alters party politics and democracy for good.


Policing and Gendered Cases in India

START
Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 11:00am

END
Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 12:30pm

VENUE
Webinar

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Nirvikar Jassal is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University. His research focuses on gender, sexual violence, ethnic conflict and hate crime, and policing with a regional focus on South Asia. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, Asian Survey and Journal of Asian Studies. He completed his PhD from the University of California—Berkeley in 2020, and previously worked at the Council on Foreign Relations and New York City government.


Capacity Beyond Coercion: Regulatory Pragmatism and Compliance Along the India-Nepal Border

START
Fri, Mar 26, 2021 at 11:00am

END
Fri, Mar 26, 2021 at 12:30pm

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Webinar

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Susan L. Ostermann is Assistant Professor of Global Affairs at the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. She completed her Ph.D. in the Travers Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds a law degree from Stanford Law School and worked for several years as a practicing litigator, focusing on class actions and intellectual property disputes.

Employing both quantitative and qualitative methodology, Ostermann seeks to understand why we sometimes see compliance with regulations in very unlikely places: those in which the state is weak and actors, be they individuals or organizations, have strong incentives to break the law. Her dissertation develops the concept of regulatory pragmatism to explain variation in strategies used by both the Nepali and Indian states to secure compliance with conservation, education and child labor regulations under challenging conditions.

While Professor Ostermann’s research focuses mainly on regulatory compliance in South Asia, she is broadly interested in understanding norms and how they change. Towards this end, she has published papers on inter-caste marriage and the role of skin color in Indian politics. Her current projects are designed to explore the historical roots of conservatism in Indian political thought, the development and expansion of the Indian Election Commission, and variation in sex-ratios throughout the subcontinent. She has also published work on the Indian bureaucracy, state capacity in South Asia, and the 2014 Indian general election.

Ostermann’s work has been published in Asian Survey, Studies in Comparative International Development, the Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics, Studies in Indian Politics and Law & Policy.


Weapons of the Weak: The Violent Consequences of Biased Technological Change

START
Fri, Feb 5, 2021 at 11:00am

END
Fri, Feb 5, 2021 at 12:30pm

VENUE
Webinar

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Aditya Dasgupta is assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Merced. He completed his PhD at Harvard University and was previously a postdoc at Stanford University.

Dasgupta’s research is in comparative politics, political economy, and political-economic history/development. He works in three areas: (i) the political economy of democratization; (ii) the role of technological change in political development; (iii) the development of state capacity. Much of his work is on rural India, including his book project on the political consequences of the green revolution. Dasgupta is also building a lab on the political economy of agriculture and rural societies (PEARS).

His articles appear in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Economic History, and International Organization and have received awards from the APSA Democracy and Autocracy and Science, Technology and Environmental Politics sections.


Gandhi’s Gift: Successful Mass Nonviolence and India’s Decolonization

START
Fri, Nov 20, 2020 at 12:00pm

END
Fri, Nov 20, 2020 at 01:30pm

VENUE
Webinar

Register for the event: https://bit.ly/3ixS06q

Rikhil R. Bhavnani, Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will discuss his latest work exploring the structures and history of non-violent civil disobedience during the Indian struggle for democratic self-rule.

In this presentation, Bhavnani will focus on his joint work with Stanford’s Sumitra Jha, which you can read here “Gandhi’s Gift”.

Rikhil R. Bhavnani is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a faculty affiliate at the La Follette School of Public Affairs, the Elections Research Center and the Center for South Asia.

Professor Bhavnani’s research and teaching focus on inequalities in political representation, the political economy of migration, and the political economy of development. His research is particularly concerned with causal identification, and is focused on South Asia. Bhavnani is the co-author, with Bethany Lacina, of a book on the backlash against within-country migration across the developing world, published by Cambridge University Press. His articles have been published or are forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, World Politics, the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and other outlets.

Prior to starting at UW–Madison, Professor Bhavnani was a visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University. He has worked at the Center for Global Development and the International Monetary Fund, and received a PhD in political science and an MA in economics from Stanford University, and a BA in political science and economics from Yale University.

This seminar series is co-sponsored by the Watson Institute at Brown University, the MIT Center for International Studies, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.

More Info: http://southasianpolitics.net/


Business, Voters, and Distributive Politics in Developing Democracies

START
Fri, Dec 4, 2020 at 12:00pm

END
Fri, Dec 4, 2020

VENUE
Webinar

Register for the event: https://bit.ly/32yhBGS

Gautam Nair, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, will explore the impact of business on developing democracies and inequality.

Gautam Nair is a a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he is a faculty affiliate of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Center for International Development. His research is in comparative and international political economy, and focuses primarily on the politics of democracy and redistribution. He has been published in The Journal of Politics and International Organization. His work is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, and the Leitner Political Economy Program at Yale.

This seminar series is co-sponsored by the Watson Institute at Brown University, the MIT Center for International Studies, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.

More Info: http://southasianpolitics.net/


Discrimination and Defiant Pride: How the Demand for Dignity Creates Slack for Poor Governance

START
Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 12:00pm

END
Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 01:30pm

VENUE
Webinar

Register for the event: https://bit.ly/3iGc1YK

Incoming Assistant Professor of Government Mashail Malik will discuss how social identities shape and are shaped by political life.

Mashail Malik studies how social identities – such as ethnicity and class – both shape and are shaped by political life. Currently a Gerald J. Lieberman Fellow, a Ric Weiland Graduate Fellow, and a Dissertation Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences at Stanford University, Malik, will begin her appointment as Assistant Professor of Government at Harvard University in fall 2021. Her dissertation project is centered on the politics of ethnicity in Karachi – Pakistan’s largest megacity. Her research agenda further includes topics on political violence, state repression, civil-military relations, and the intersection of identity and economic conflict.

Discussant: Steven Rosenzweig, Boston University

This seminar series is co-sponsored by the Watson Institute at Brown University, the MIT Center for International Studies, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.

More Info: http://southasianpolitics.net/


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

START
Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 02:00pm

END
Fri, Apr 12, 2019

VENUE
CGIS South, S153
Harvard University

ADDRESS
CGIS South, S153
Harvard University
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

JOINT SEMINAR ON SOUTH ASIAN POLITICS SERIES

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.”