Dissertations on South Asia: 2005

Jan Nilsson, Division of Geriatric Epidemiology; Dept. of Neurobiology, Caring Sciences and Society; Karolinska Institutet Medical University, Stockholm, defended his doctoral dissertation ”Understanding health-related quality of life in old age: A cross-sectional study of elderly people in rural Bangladesh, on Friday 16 December 2005. It was made within the framework of the PHILL project (Primary Health-Care in Later Life: improving services in Bangladesh and Vietnam), that the Division of Geriatric Epidemiology is involved in. Dr. Nilsson currently works as Regional Health Coordinator för IFRC, dealing with Japan, China, Mongolia, North and South Korea. He is based in Beijing, China. More information about the thesis .

Åsa Hole from the Dept. of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University, defended her doctoral dissertation on ”Neither Here – Nor There. An Anthropological Study of Gujarati Hindu Women in the Diaspora” on Thursday 15 December 2005. Hole focuses mainly on the aspects of identity that are found in gender discourse (women’s roles) and the diaspora discourse among Gujarati Hindu women in Coventry, Britain, and Mariestad, Sweden. Faculty opponent was Dr. Frank Korom from Boston University, USA. More information with abstract.

Jonas Lindberg from the Dept. of Human and Economic Geography, School of Business, Economics and Law at Göteborg University, defended his doctoral dissertation project titled ”Education for all in times of global transformations: Aspirations and opportunities of poor families in marginal areas of Sri Lanka” on Friday 9 December 2005. Faculty opponent was Prof. Holger Daun, Institute of International Education (IIE), Stockholm University. Go for the full thesis (as a pdf-file).

Darley Jose Kjosavik from Noragric, Department of International Environment and Development Studies, at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) in Ås defended her PhD thesis titled ”In the Intersection of Class and Indigeneity: The political Economy of Indigenous People's Development in Kerala, India”, on Saturday 3 December 2005. Kjosavik originally comes from Kerala, and her resarch focuses on property rights dynamics and the effects of decentralised and neoliberal development for indigenous communities in highland Kerala. Besides the thesis she has also written a couple of publications together with Dr. N. Shanmugaratnam at the same department, papers that will be published during 2006. Read abstract of Kjosavik’s thesis (as a pdf-file).

Syed Masud Ahmed from the Division of Geriatric Epidemiology; Department of Neurobiology, Caring Sciences and Society (NVS); Karolinska Institutet Medical University, Stockholm defended his doctoral dissertation titled ”Exploring health-seeking behaviour of disadvantaged populations in rural Bangladesh” on Friday 4 November 2005. Opponent was Prof. Finn Diderichsen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Dr. Ahmed is a Public Health physician with professional expertise in designing and conducting clinical and public health research including social science research. His articles have been widely published in peer reviewed national and international Journals. He is working at BRAC Research and Evaluation Division in Dhaka, Bangladesh. More information about the thesis, with a link to the full-text document.

Åse Piltz from the Dept. of History and Anthropology of Religion, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University, defended her doctoral dissertation on ”Seger åt Tibet! Den tibetanska diasporan och den religiösa nationen” (Victory to Tibet! The Tibetan Diaspora and the Religious Nation), on Saturday 22 October 2005. The thesis focuses on images of Tibet, among Westerners as well as among Tibetans. Based on approximately one year of fieldwork in the former British Hill station, it also deals with the politics of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and some of its political and social implications for the exiled Tibetan youth living in Dharamsala, India. Faculty opponent was Dr. Axel Kristian Strøm, Dept. of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, Norway. More information with abstract.

KommalageMahinda Don Kommalage from the Unit of Comparative Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, defended his doctoral dissertation on ”Spinal acetylcholine release – Mechanisms and receptor involvement” on 14 October 2005. Faculty opponent was Professor Ernst Brodin, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet Medical University, Stockholm. There are two aspect in relevance in the dissertation project. One has been trying to investigate Organophosphate, which is a common agro-poisoning in Sri Lanka, and its involvement in poisoning effect on animals. The other apect of importance has been pain transmission in the spinal cord.

Stellan Vinthagen, Dept. of Peace and Development Research (PADRIGU), Göteborg University, defended his doctoral dissertation on ”Nonviolent Action – A Social Practice of Resistance and Construction”, on Saturday 8 October 2005. The thesis explores how peace with peaceful means is possible to conceptualize. Earlier theories about nonviolence (mainly Mahatma Gandhi and Sharp) are discussed in the perspective of late modern sociology in an attempt to develop a social and practical description system. Faculty opponent is Associate Professor Jan Öberg, Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, Lund. Read the abstract.

Roger Schweizer, Department of Business Administration, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University defended his doctoral dissertation, titled ”An Arranged Marriage under Institutional Duality – The Local Integration Process between Two Globally Merging MNCs' Subidiaries” on Monday 19 September 2005. Discussant was Professor Rikard Larsson, Dept. of Business Administration, Lund University. Read the abstract.

Seema Arora Jonsson, Department of Rural Development and Agroecology; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, defended her doctoral dissertation on ”Unsettling the Order: Gendered subjects and Grassroots activism in two forest communities” on Wednesday 15 June, 2005. The research project studies how women in two different communities (in India and Sweden) have chosen to articulate their needs concerning their respective livelihoods. Faculty opponent was Prof. Patricia Maguire, Gallup Graduate Studies Centre, University of Western New Mexico, USA. More information on her dissertation project.

Ulla Thoresen, Indic Religions DivisionCentre for Theology and Religious Studies (CTR), Lund University, defended her Licentiate thesis on ”The Tulku institution: Traditionalism and Modernity among Tibetans living in exile in India” on Friday 10 June 2005. Faculty Opponent was Dr. Axel Kristian Strøm, Dept. of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, Norway. Read the thesis as a full text document (pdf-file).

Sagarika Ekanayake, Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, Lund Institute of Technology (LTH), Lund University, defended her doctoral dissertation on ”Potential of Canavalia gladiata as a food ingredient – nutritional and functional aspects”, on Wednesday 1 June 2005. The thesis deals with the tender fruits of sword beans (Canavalia gladiata), eaten as a green vegetable in Sri Lanka, and how methods could be developed to increase the utilization of sword beans for human consumption. Faculty opponent is Professor Ulf Svanberg, Division of Food Science, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg. More information with abstract.

Urban Hammar from the Division of Comparative Religion; Dept. of Ethnology, Comparative Religion and Gender Studies, Stockholm University, defended his doctoral dissertation Studies in the Kalacakra Tantra: A History of the Kalacakra in Tibet and a Study of the Concept of Adibuddha, the Fourth Body of the Buddha and the Supreme Unchanging”, on Friday 27 May 2005. Faculty opponent was John Newman, New College of Florida, USA. The thesis treats the tantric Buddhist system of teachings of Kalacakra, today a well-known teaching and initiation given since 1970 by the present Dalai Lama at mass ceremonies around the world. The Kalacakra was first introduced by Bhadrabodhi and Gyi-jo in the eleventh century, another example of successful cooperation between an Indian pandit and a Tibetan translator. More information, including abstract.

Minhaj Mahmud from the Dept. of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, defended his doctoral dissertation titled ”Measuring Trust and the Value of Statistical Lives: Evidence from Bangladesh" on 1 April 2005. The thesis deals with the concept of trust, decreased significantly as the stake size was increased in a trust game conducted in rural Bangladesh. Read the abstract.

Katak Malla from the Department of Law at Stockholm University defended his doctoral dissertation on ”The Legal Regime of International Watercourses: Progress and Paradigms Regarding Uses and Environmental Protection”, on Friday 25 February 2005. Faculty opponent was Phoebe Okowa, Senior Lecturer at Dr. Queen Mary University, London, UK. The thesis deals with the Himalayan Drainage Basin (which includes Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Bangladesh) and focuses on environmental conflicts, social movements and water issues. More information.

Paolo Favero, Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University, defended his doctoral dissertation on ”India dreams: Cultural identity among young middle-class men in New Delhi” on Friday 25 February 2005. The thesis focuses on the dynamics of social mobility and cultural change among young middle-class men in contemporary urban India, and is is part of a major research project at the department on ”Modernities in transition: A Study of Youth Cultures in Iran, Brazil and India”. Faculty opponent was Marcus Banks, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, UK. More information on the thesis, with abstract.

Cora Alexa Døving, Department of Culture Studies, University of Oslo, will defend her doctoral dissertation on ”Pakistani-Norwegian Funeral Rites – A Study of Migration”, on Friday 11 February 2005. The project deals with the creation and re-establishment of burial practices amongst Pakistanis in Oslo. It focuses partly on the entrepreneurs, mainly as leaders of different welfare organisations, who have established a large contact network both in the Pakistaniani milieu, and also with different Norwegian institutions who are involved with various aspects of death. First opponent is Associate Professor Barbro Blehr, Dept. of Ethnology, Stockholm University. More information (in Norwegian only).