A two-day International Seminar on “New Social Movements in the Era of Globalization” was organized by the Rajiv Gandhi Chair in Contemporary Studies at theDepartment of Political Science, University of Allahabad, India on February 22-23, 2013. A report has been compiled by Ms. Nandini Basistha, Senior Research Fellow, Rajiv Gandhi Chair in Contemporary Studies, University of Allahabad. Read the seminar report.
Research reports, books and publications
The US National Bureau of Asian Research has released a report examining India's domestic and international security challenges. In the report, entitled ”India's Internal Security Challenges”, Ajai Sahni, Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi, India, argues that India's fractious democracy faces significant internal strife and is hobbled by incoherent policy responses and enduring deficits in capacity. Despite these troubles, Dr. Sahni suggests that the country's internal security system has demonstrated extraordinary resilience, with several dramatic successes in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism.
In the second part of the report, ”Managing Multipolarity: India's Security Strategy in a Changing World”, C. Raja Mohan – Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi – discusses the impact of the emerging multipolar world on India's foreign and national security policies and examines the new imperatives for the country to go beyond its enduring strategy of nonalignment – including the further development of the U.S.-India strategic relationship.
Read the whole report here (free access through 20 July 2012).
The European University Institute (EUI) recently published a report on the ”Indian migration and population in Sweden” compiled by Assistant Professor Kristina Myrvold from the Dept. of History and Anthropology of Religion at Lund University. The publication provides an overview of the migration and the demographic and socio-economic profile of the Indian population in Sweden. Dr. Myrvold's study shows that Indians in contemporary Sweden have diverse migrations histories and constitute a more heterogeneous group of people with different economic, social and cultural backgrounds. In general the Indians have succeeded fairly well in their economic, social and cultural integration into Swedish society, while their political participation has been more restricted.
In 2010 the number of Indian-born individuals recorded for Sweden amounted to 17,863 individuals. The statistics further indicate that within a ten-year period, between 2000 and 2010, the population of Indian origin has increased by 61 percent.
In addition, Sweden has a growing second and second-point-five generation with children of Indian origin as well as inter-ethnic families. As of 2010, there were 2,109 Sweden-born persons with both parents from India and 5,592 persons with one Indian and one Swedish parent.
The publication is part of a larger European project called ”Developing a knowledge base for policymaking on India-EU migration”. The project was officially launched on 4 March 2011 and is carried out by EUI in partnership with the Indian Council of Overseas Employment, (ICOE), the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, (IIMB), and Maastricht University (Faculty of Law) with the main goal to consolidate a constructive dialogue between the EU and India on migration covering all migration-related aspects. Go for the full report.
In February 2012, the US National Bureau of Asian Research released a report on the ”Health Security Challenges in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh” written by Amal Jayawardane (Regional Centre for Strategic Studies) and Abbas Bhuiya (ICDDR,B). The report examines the health challenges confronting Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and evaluates the political, economic, and social implications for each country. It is a result of a three-year study on ”Non-Traditional Regional Security Architecture for South Asia” and is organised in two major parts: one on Emerging Health Challenges for Sri Lanka in the New Millenium, and another on Health Threats as Nontraditional Security Challenges for Bangladesh. The report is available for free until 25 April 2012. Go for it.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in New Delhi has published a shocking report on the problems of water and environment in India. CSE is a prestigious Indian research institute with several Swedish connections, including receiving a substantial financial assistance from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency Sida since 1989 and onwards. Its Director Sunita Narain was also previously a member of the board of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and she has been a regular key speaker at the Stockholm World Water Week, held in August every year.
The report, entitled ”Excreta Matters: How urban India is soaking up water, polluting rivers and drowning in its own waste” is the first and most comprehensive survey bringing light on the horrendous crisis of water scarcity and growing threat of water pollution in Indian cities. It presents a detailed city-by-city analysis of the situation on the ground. The findings are based on a nationwide survey, in which primary data on the state of water and waste provisioning was collected. The authors used this data for analysis and also put together an assessment of the challenges ahead. The book would be of immense value to professionals and decision makers in the Central and State Governments besides academicians, researchers, NGOs and all major Libraries. Go for the report.
The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) has published a report on "Non-traditional security challenges in India" with focus on human security and disaster management. The report is comprised by two essays that explore the implications for India's global power aspirations caused by non traditional security challenges. One of the contributors, Mallika Joseph argues that if India wishes to reap the future benefits of a vibrant economy, it must address its increasing economic disparity and develop social and political delivery systems that distribute the benefits of economic growth beyond the privileged few. The other essay, written by P.G. Dhar Chakrabarti who is the former Executive Director of the National Institute for Disaster Management in India argues that climate change will have far-reaching consequences for India and that enhanced regional cooperation is needed to mitigate its effects.
The report is available for free reading until 6 January 2012 here.
The Human Development Report 2011 was launched on 2 November 2011. The report, Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All argues that environmental sustainability can be most fairly and effectively achieved by addressing health, education, income, and gender disparities together with the need for global action on energy production and ecosystem protection.
More information about HDR 2011.
As usual a comparative Human Development Index is included in the report. It gives statistical comparisions between 187 countries of the world. Just like in 2010, the current year’s figures are complimented by a trends analysis for the period back to 1980.
The overall trend curves for the South Asian region however show a steady improvement during the period 1980-2011.
In the HDR 2011, all South Asian nations have fallen down, some of them dramatically, compared to 2010. Among them, Sri Lanka however still ranks highest as no. 97, even though down by 6 positions since last year. Maldives ranks second, as no. 109, further down by 2 positions since last year.
India has also stepped down, by no less than 15 positions, and is now ranked as no. 134, in the lower part of the Medium Human Development category of nations to which also Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bhutan (position 141) belong.
Next comes Pakistan, that has fallen even more, by 20 positions down to 145, and is now belonging to the Low Human Development category of nations, along with Bangladesh (position 146, down by 17 since last year); Nepal (position 157, down by 17); and Afghanistan (position 172, down by 17).
Just like previous years Norway tops the worldwide HDI list, this year before Australia and the Netherlands. Sweden ranks as no. 10 (down by 1 position).
Study the Human Development Index 2011.
Asia could become a prosperous region by the middle of this century but its rise is by no means preordained, says a new report commissioned by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Asia’s long-term transformation and the eradication of poverty in the region will require more than simply high economic growth rates if Asia is to reach its full potential – a scenario referred to by many as the “Asian Century.
The draft report, “Asia 2050—Realizing the Asian Century,” identifies six key drivers of transformation in the region: technical progress, capital accumulation, demographics and the labor force, the emerging middle class, climate change mitigation and the competition for resources, and the communications revolution.
In its march toward prosperity, Asia however faces several key challenges and risks. Yawning inequalities must be narrowed and—as home to over half of the world’s population—Asia must confront a massive wave of urbanization and changing demographic profiles. Asia’s long-term competitiveness will depend heavily on how it controls the intensity of its resource use, including water and food, and manages its carbon footprint. It is in Asia’s best interest to encourage and invest in innovation and clean technology to maintain its impressive growth momentum, the draft report says.
The overview of the draft report was unveiled at ADB’s 44th Annual Meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam 3–6 May 2011. It will be expanded into a comprehensive book set for publication in August 2011. More information on the draft report.
See video on the report from Youtube.
In December 2010, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)presented its Rural Poverty Report 2011, with the theme ”New realities, new challenges: new opportunities for tomorrow’s generation”. This is a globally significant report which is released every decade. It provides a coherent and comprehensive look at rural poverty, its global consequences and the prospects for eradicating it. The report contains updated estimates by IFAD regarding how many rural poor people there are in the developing world, poverty rates in rural areas, and the percentage of poor people residing in rural areas. The report also looks at changes to agricultural markets and new opportunities for rural women and men. Go for the Rural Poverty Report 2011.
On 11 October 2010, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI),Welthungerhilfe, andConcern Worldwidepublished the 2010 Global Hunger Index (GHI). It shows that malnutrition among children under two years of age is one of the leading challenges to reduce global hunger and can cause lifelong harm to health, productivity, and earning potential. The index scores countries based on three equally weighted indicators: the proportion of people who are undernourished, the proportion of children under five who are underweight, and the child mortality rate. The biggest contributor to the global score is child undernutrition, which accounts for almost half of the score. Go for the 2010 Global Hunger Index.
The index is calculated for 122 developing and transition countries for which data on the three components of hunger are available. Twenty-nine countries have levels of hunger that are “extremely alarming” or “alarming.” Most of these countries are in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Despite witnessing high economic growth during the last five years, India had been ranked below many of its neighbouring countries like China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. India has been ranked 67th, well below China (9th), Sri Lanka (39th), Pakistan (52nd) and Nepal (56th). In India, high index scores are driven by high levels of children being underweight resulting from the low nutritional and social status of women in the country, the report noted. The country is also home to 42% of the world’s underweight children, while Pakistan has just 5%.
”India has the bulk of malnourished people in the world,” Dr. Ashok Gulati, director, Asia, IFPRI, comments. However, he adds that the index relies on the data collected by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), Government of India in 2004-05 while many other countries had later data to offer.
Before joining IFPRI, Dr Gulati was a NABARD chair professor at the Institute of Economic Growth and chief economist at the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in New Delhi. He has also been a member of the Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister of India. Dr Gulati has done Masters in Economics and Ph.D. from Delhi School of Economics.
A new global ranking, calculating the vulnerability of 170 countries to the impacts of climate change over the next 30 years, identifies some of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies, including India, as facing the greatest risks to their populations, ecosystems and business environments. Bangladesh is however the country facing the gravest threat.
The new Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) is released by global risks advisory firmMaplecroft, based in Bath, UK. It evaluates 42 social, economic and environmental factors to assess national vulnerabilities across three core areas. These include: exposure to climate-related natural disasters and sea-level rise; human sensitivity, in terms of population patterns, development, natural resources, agricultural dependency and conflicts; thirdly, the index assesses future vulnerability by considering the adaptive capacity of a country’s government and infrastructure to combat climate change.
The index rates 16 countries as ‘extreme risk,’ including nations that represent new Asian economic power and possess significant forecasted growth. Bangladesh (1), India (2), Philippines (6), Vietnam (13) and Pakistan (16) all feature in the highest risk category and are of particular importance as they are major contributors to the ongoing global economic recovery and are vital to the future expansion of Western businesses in particular. Other countries featuring in the ‘extreme risk’ category include Nepal (4), and Afghanistan (8). According to Maplecroft, the countries with the most risk are characterised by high levels of poverty, dense populations, exposure to climate-related events; and their reliance on flood and drought prone agricultural land.
On 3 September 2010, The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) launched its flagship report entitled ”Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics”. The report highlights the multiple and complex processes involved in sustainably reducing poverty and inequality, and lays out a range of policies and institutional measures that can be adopted by countries to achieve this goal. It is the result of five years of cutting edge and forward-looking research and offers alternative perspectives and strategies on reducing poverty and inequality to accelerate progress in achieving the Millennium Development goals and other social development objectives. More information about the report.
In connection with the launch of the new UNRISD report, the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC) held an international conference on ”Ten Years of War Against Poverty: What We Have Learned Since 2000 and What We Should Do 2010–2020” on 9 September 2010 in Manchester, UK, to mark ten years of poverty research by the centre, where UNRISD Director Sarah Cook presented the flagship report. More information.
The second volume of the five volume Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism has now been published. It has been edited by Prof. Knut A. Jacobsen, University of Bergen, Norway(Editor-in-Chief for the entire series of Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism), assisted by Dr. Helene Basu, University of Münster, Germany, Dr. Angelika Malinar, University of Zürich, Switzerland, and Dr. Vasudha Narayanan, University of Florida, USA.
Volume II builds upon the first volume by examining the sacred languages of Hinduism and its major religious texts, literary genres, and scholarly traditions as well as the vernaculars. It further explores the ritual traditions, including domestic rituals, mantras, and intoxication. In addition, performance and the arts such as martial arts, dance, and film feature prominently. The last section extensively investigates the meaning, connotations, and use of some forty leading concepts like karman, the self, renunciation, asceticism, meditation, and liberation. Sacred Texts, Ritual Traditions, Arts, Concepts is the second of ultimately five volumes, which will include an index in the final volume.
On 17 June 2010, The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched an report, titled ”What Will It Take To Achieve The Millennium Development Goals? An International Assessment”. The report identifies a concrete action agenda to inform the outcome of the World leaders’ MDG Summit in New York, to be held in September 2010. Based on evidence from 50 countries, it says that the MDGs can be achieved, and UNDP puts forward an eight-point action agenda to reduce poverty.More information, with a link to the full report.
On 2 June Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) launched the 41st edition of its Yearbook on Armaments, Disarmament and International Security. In addition to the release of its much anticipated military expenditure figures, Yearbook 2010 offers an authoritative account and analysis of recent developments in a number of security-related fields. The global financial crisis, the conflict in Afghanistan, and nuclear weapons and disarmament are among some of this year's cross-cutting security themes. More information.
The Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) in Islamabad, has published its Pakistan Security Report 2009. It highlights the fact that Pakistan suffered the highest number of militancy-related casualties in 2009. An upsurge in acts of terrorism, militancy and violence further mutilated the security landscape of the country which resulted in highest number of militancy-related casualties in 2009 since the launch of War on Terror in 2001. The militants intensified their attacks, diversified their targets and expanded their areas of operation although they were killed, injured and arrested in large numbers in military and search-and-hunt operations in Swat, South Waziristan and other regions.More information.
On 28 August 2008, theCommission on Social Determinants of Healthwithin the the World Health Organisation (WHO) published a report titled ”Closing the Gap in a Generation: Health Equity through Action on the Social Determinants of Health”. The report involved over three years of groundbreaking worldwide collaboration between the WHO, national policy makers and advisors, researchers, and members of civil society. Nine knowledge networks from across the world have collected and reviewed the evidence to improve population health and health equity within and between countries. In the report, the commissioners write that
”the toxic combination of bad policies, economics, and politics is, in large measure responsible for the fact that a majority of people in the world do not enjoy the good health that is biologically possible. Social injustice is killing people on a grand scale.”
Much of the work to redress health inequities is also said to lie beyond the health sector. According to the Commission's report,
”Water-borne diseases are not caused by a lack of antibiotics but by dirty water, and by the political, social, and economic forces that fail to make clean water available to all; heart disease is caused not by a lack of coronary care units but by lives people lead, which are shaped by the environments in which they live; obesity is not caused by moral failure on the part of individuals but by the excess availability of high-fat and high-sugar foods.”
Consequently the report recommends that the health sector – globally and nationally – needs to focus attention on addressing the root causes of inequities in health.
Mirai Chatterjee and Amartya Sen.
Two of the members of the commission are Mirai Chatterjee, Coordinator of Social Security for India’s Self-Employed Women’s Association, a trade union of over 900 000 self-employed women and recently appointed to the National Advisory Council and the National Commission for the Unorganised Sector in India; and Amartya Sen, Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998. Denny Vågerö, Professor of Medical Sociology, Director of CHESS (Centre for Health Equity Studies) , Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm has been the Swedish representative in the commission. Full information about the report.
The magnitude of losses and wastage in the food chain is put forward in a report titled “Saving Water: From Field to Fork – Curbing Losses and Wastage in the Food Chain,” published by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), headquartered in Battaramulla, Sri Lanka; Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg; Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI); and Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) on Wednesday 14 May 2008. The lead authors of the report are Prof. Jan Lundqvist, SIWI (and Dept. of Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University); Charlotte de Fraiture, and David Molden, IWMI. The report, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, was launched at the 16th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Developmentand outlines concrete steps to achieve a 50 percent wasted food reduction by 2025. More information.
On April 8, the Global Monitoring Report 2008 was published. This new World Bank-IMF report entitled ”MDG:s and the Environment – Agenda for Inclusive and Sustainable Development” warns that most countries will fall short on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight globally agreed development goals with a due date of 2015. Though much of the world is set to cut extreme poverty in half by then, prospects are gravest for the goals of reducing child and maternal mortality. Serious shortfalls also likely in primary school completion, nutrition, and sanitation goals. The report also stresses the link between environment and development and calls for urgent action on climate change. To build on hard-won gains, developing countries need support to address the links between growth, development and environmental sustainability.
The 2008 Global Monitoring Report was authored by a team led by Zia Qureshi (photo to the right), Sr Adviser with the World Bank's Development Economics Vice Presidency, under the guidance of the Acting Chief Economist, Alan Gelb. Regarding South Asia, the report says the region is on the path toward sustainable economic growth, with net adjusted saving on the rise, and a positive savings rate. The region is likely to halve by 2015 the number of people without access to safe drinking water, but will not achieve the same target for improved basic sanitation. More information.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Year Book 2008 is the fifth annual report on the changing environment produced by Nairobi based UNEP in collaboration with many world environmental experts. The UNEP Year Book 2008, published on 12 March, highlights the increasing complexity and interconnections of climate change, ecosystem integrity, human well-being, and economic development. It examines the emergence and influence of economic mechanisms and market driven approaches for addressing environmental degradation. It describes recent research findings and policy decisions that affect our awareness of and response to changes in our global environment. In three sections, the UNEP Year Book 2008 focuses on recent environmental events, developments, and scientific findings: A Global Overview, A Feature Focus, and an Emerging Challenge section.More information on UNEP Year Book 2008.
The theme of the World Bank's World Development Report (WDR) 2008 is ”Agriculture for Development”. A reconsideration of agriculture’s role in development has been long overdue. Developing country agriculture is caught up in the far-reaching changes brought by globalization, the advent of highly sophisticated and integrated supply chains, innovation in information technology and biosciences, and broad institutional changes—especially in the role of the state and in modes of governance and organization. The final report was published on Friday 19 October 2007.More information.
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, presented its 2007 State of World Population Report on Wednesday 27 June 2007. UNFPA is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. It has its headquarters in New York, USA. The theme for the 2007 report is ”Unleashing the Potential of Urban Growth”, and deals with the fact that in 2008, for the first time, more than half of the world’s population – 3.3 billion people – will be living in urban areas. This unprecedented shift could enhance development and promote sustainability – or it could deepen poverty and accelerate environmental degradation. Full information about the 2007 Report.
Coinciding with the World Population Day 2007 on July 11th, the World Bank publishes material about ”South Asia Urban Growth – A Challenge and an Opportunity”. It includes an interview with the South Asia Chief Economist Shanta Devarajan, plus reports on Population and Urban Development in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. Go for the World Bank South Asia page.
In order to fill a gap for teaching materials with special relevance to Swedish and European development policy studies, the Centre for African studies (CAS), School of Global Studies at Göteborg university, has started to produce a series of smaller publications called “Perspectives on Development Cooperation in Africa”. CAS launched a master programme (“bredd-magister”) on African Studies with special emphasises on international development cooperation last year, and from 2007/08 it will – as part of the Bologna process – be developed into a regular masters programme (as a track within the joint masters programme in regional studies, planned for by the School of Global Studies).
The lack of relevant teaching material has however become evident, and therefore good essays and reports by previous masters students at CAS, as well as more in depth original material within the field of development studies, will now be made accessible and published electronically in this Perspectives series. The initiative comes from Lennart Wohlgemut (photo to the right), guest professor at CAS. During 2006 he has written the first four reports in the series, namely: ”Svensk biståndspolitik i ett internationellt perspektiv” (Swedish developmental assistance policy in an International perspective, written in Swedish together with Bertil Odén); ”Changing Aid Modalities in Tanzania”; ”Humanitarian Assistance”; and ”Swedish and EU Africa Policy”. Even though the reports naturally focus on Africa they are also in many ways relevant for South Asian developmental studies.
A new World Bank Report tited ”AIDS in South Asia. Understanding and Responding to a Heterogeneous Epidemic” was launched at the 16th International AIDS Conference, held in Toronto, Canada, 13–18 August 2006. According to the report, more than 5.5 million people are infected with HIV in South Asia, with the epidemic increasingly driven by the region's flourishing sex industry and injecting drug use. South Asia's HIV and AIDS epidemic can be expected to grow rapidly unless the eight countries in the region, especially India, can saturate high-risk groups such as sex workers and their clients, injecting drug users, and men having sex with men with better HIV prevention measures. Read the full World Bank report.
The peer-reviewed Journal of South Asian Development (JSAD) is now fully available online. The biannual magazine is published by Sage India and distributed worldwide. It is edited by Rajat Ganguly, Senior Lecturer in Politics & International Studies at the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. The first volume came out in April 2006, and includes articles by Pranab Bardhan about ”Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: A Comparative Assessment of the Rise of China and India”; by Premachandra Athukorala about ”Outward-oriented Policy Reforms and Industrialisation: The Sri Lankan Experience”; Raymond C. Taras about ”Rising Insurgency, Faltering Democratisation in Nepal” and Joseph Devine about ”NGOs, Politics and Grassroots Mobilisation: Evidence from Bangladesh”. More information.
The World Health Organisation WHO published a report on Violence Against Women on Monday 23 November 2005. The report, titled ”Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women. Initial results on prevalence, health outcomes and women's responses” presents initial results based on interviews with 24 000 women in 19 countries around the Globe by carefully trained interviewers. The study was implemented by WHO, in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), PATH, USA, research institutions and women's organizations in the participating countries. The Swedish Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, has supported the project from the beginning, and Prof. Lars-Åke Persson, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, has been responsible for the research work made in Bangladesh. More information with links to the full report.
The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) presented a report on ”Sustainable Pathways to Attain the Millennium Development Goals – Assessing the Role of Water, Energy and Sanitation” for the UN World Summit held in New York on 14 September 2005. The Stockholm Environment Institute is an independent, international research institute based in Stockholm, specializing in sustainable development and environment issues. During 2005 SEI is hosting an international public consultation on ”Poverty Reduction and Water Management”, with an aim to provide a consensus position amongst a number of International agencies on poverty reduction and water management, coinciding with the start of the UN Decade of Water for Life 2005-2015. Download the report (as a pdf-file).
The most extensive mass poisoning in the World presently takes place in Bangladesh. At least 35 Million people drink arsenic contaminated water from wells, dug at a large scale by Western development assistance organisations, including the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, since the 1970’s. This catastrophe has been highlighted in Swedish media during the Spring 2005 after an investigative story by Karin Bojs och Per Snaprud in Dagens Nyheter. Read the articles, plus an article published by Sida, giving the background to the ongoing catastrophe (in Swedish only).
The School of Environmental Studies at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India, published a shocking report on the issue, called ”Million Dollar Arsenic Projects in Bangladesh: Arsenic Situation Deteriorated in Eruani Village of Laksham P.S., Comilla District from 1997-2005”. Read an abstract of the report (as a pdf-file). The full report can be ordered from Dhaka Community Hospital (DCH) in Bangladesh, by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org