December 5th - Ching Kwan Lee | 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Authoritarian Precarization: Mapping the Labor Politics of Recognition, Regulation and Reproduction in China
Professor Lee's talk will analyze the making of precarity in China and identify the various contested terrains constitutive of its politics. For each of the three periods of Chinese development since the Communist Revolution, viz. the Mao era of state socialism 1949-1979, the high-growth reform era 1980-2010, and the current period of crisis and restructuring since around 2010, she will discuss the changing forms and meanings of labor precarity, their political economic drivers, and the shifting and uneven capacity of popular struggling for the recognition, regulation and reproduction of labor.
About the Speaker:
Ching Kwan Lee is Professor of Sociology at UCLA. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She was a Fellow with the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (2013-14) and was awarded a National Science Foundation Grant (2010-2013). She was awarded the 2008 Sociology of Labor Book Award by the American Sociological Association (Labor and Labor Movement Section) for her book Against the Law: Labor Protests in China's Rustbelt and Sunbelt (UC Press, 2007). Her books include Re-envisioning the Chinese Revolution: Politics and Poetics of Collective Memory in Reform China (Stanford University Press, 2007, edited with Guobin Yang) and Working in China: Ethnographies of Labor and Workplace Transformation (Routledge 2007, edited).
November 14th - Devesh Kapur | 4:00PM - 6:00PM
The Dilemmas of Higher Education: India in Comparative Perspective
In the last two decades the expansion of higher education in India has been the most rapid in human history after that of China. The talk will first document the characteristics of growth and change in higher education in India. It will then address the tensions among the core goals of growth, access, cost and quality and the paradox of large skill premiums despite massive increases in supply even as underemployment among the college educated has been rising. Finally, the talk will examine the political economy of higher education in India, and why there has been so little change in the regulation of higher education and the governance of higher education institutions – and its consequences.
About the Speaker:
Devesh Kapur was appointed Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India in 2006. He is Professor of Political Science at Penn, and holds the Madan Lal Sobti Chair for the Study of Contemporary India. Prior to arriving at Penn, Professor Kapur was Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, and before that the Frederick Danziger Associate Professor of Government at Harvard. His research focuses on human capital, national and international public institutions, and the ways in which local-global linkages, especially international migration and international institutions, affect political and economic change in developing countries, especially India.
October 17th - Olle Törnquist
Can social democracy be reinvented? Insights from Indian and Scandinavian comparisons.
In the age of market driven globalisation, social democracy is hard pressed. Can it be reinvented? Scholars on Scandinavia and India are just out with a joint book that is the first to compare experiences in the South and the North. Having identified the universal processes of social democracy and analysed Indian experiences by asking questions from Scandinavia, and vice versa, they arrive at four general conclusions. One, the development strategy from the 1930s remain tenable, but it is missing a fundamental pillar in the form of comprehensive industrialisation and relatively coherent labour movement and modernisation oriented employers. The conditions for social growth pacts are poor in countries like India. Two, however, these conditions can be improved by transformative politics. Several additional historical factors in the rise of social democracy remain valid in the South too. Three, renewal in the South calls for reversed priorities. Struggles for welfare state, decent conditions at work and representation of the most vital interests in public policy making and administration must come ahead of social growth pacts. A number of experiences suggest that this may not be impossible. Four, it should be in the enlightened self-interest of social democracy in countries like Sweden and Norway to support such processes.
About the speaker:
Professor of Political Science and Development Research, University of Oslo, Olle has written widely on radical politics, development and democratisation. In addition to parts of India, especially Kerala, his main empirical focus since the 1970s is Indonesia, where he also co-directs research with scholarly activists. His recent books are Assessing Dynamics of Democratisation (Palgrave 2013) and the anthologies (with co-editors) Democratisation in the Global South (Palgrave 2013) and Reclaiming the State: Overcoming Problems of Democracy in Post-Soeharto Indonesia (PolGov & PCD 2015).