Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Society & Culture

The Backlash Against Internal Migration

Rikhil R. Bhavnani & Bethany Lacina
Monday, February 11, 2019

In the West, Brexit and the rise of rightwing populists such as Donald Trump in the United States and Viktor Orban in Hungary have been blamed on globalization. In particular, many have argued that unchecked international migration—a prominent form of globalization—has generated a “nativist” backlash. The developing world has long been accustomed to such a backlash. However, the focus of nativist ire in developing countries is frequently domestic rather than international migration.

Reform, Representation, and Resistance: The Politics of Property Rights’ Enforcement in India

Rachel Brulé
Monday, January 28, 2019

Quotas for women in government have swept the world as a revolutionary tool to further female political inclusion. India is both the source of much evidence and contestation on quotas’ impact, particularly in economic domains. When do quotas ultimately benefit those they are meant to empower—women—in the crucial domain of land inheritance rights?

India’s Civilian Drone Industry: The Need for Greater Civil Society Engagement with Drone Regulations

Shashank Srinivasan
Monday, December 3, 2018

On October 7, 2014, India’s aspirations of becoming a global leader in the manufacture and operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs; commonly known as drones) for civilian use were seemingly crushed overnight. The Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s civil aviation regulator, issued a short public notice that prohibited any non-governmental entity in India from launching UAVs for any purpose whatsoever due to safety and security issues until regulations were issued.

Ignorance is Bliss: The Truth About Inequality in India

Sanjoy Chakravorty
Monday, October 8, 2018

Like a recurring rash, a little war of words has broken out in the media and Twitterverse about the extent of inequality in India and whether it is growing. The catalyst this time is the publication of James Crabtree’s book The Billionaire Raj. The same thing happened last year when Luke Chancel and Thomas Piketty published their paper “Indian Income Inequality, 1922-2015: From British Raj to Billionaire Raj?” Both are solid contributions that agree on one thing—economic inequality in India is very high and increasing because of the rise of a super-wealthy class.

On Wedges and Spatial Price Gaps

Shoumitro Chatterjee
Monday, July 30, 2018

Indian farmers realize extremely low revenues. Revenues can be low either because farmers are unproductive and/or because they receive low prices for their output. While productivity relates mostly with technical aspects of farming, price realization depends on the state of the agricultural economy and can potentially be addressed by economic policy. In this article, I will discuss two dimensions of prices—wedges and dispersion—and shed light on some common misconceptions.

Are Intermediaries Bad?

The Study of India in the United States

Devesh Kapur
Friday, June 29, 2018

The study of India in the United States was relatively modest prior to India’s independence. In 1939, the great Sanskritist, W. Norman Brown, who established the first academic department of South Asian Studies in the US reflected, “It takes no gift of prophesy to predict that [during the second half of the twentieth century] the world will include a vigorous India, possibly politically free, conceivably a dominant power in the Orient, and certainly intellectually vital and productive.

(Re)presenting Indian Women Outside India

Ravinder Kaur
Monday, June 18, 2018

Indian historians have expended much labor and analytical acumen in deconstructing the colonial construction of Indian women and gender relations in India. The British had highlighted the “low status” of Indian women by citing cultural practices such as purdah (veiling), sati (widow immolation), child marriage and dowry, not to mention female infanticide. Since then, these practices began to metonymically represent Indian women to the outside world as being subjugated and lacking any rights or agency of their own.

Rebel Retirement Through Informal Exit Networks: Evidence from India

Rumela Sen
Monday, April 23, 2018

How do rebels quit armed groups and return to the same political processes they had once sought to overthrow? A lot has been written on why men and women rebel. But we know very little about why and how rebels quit. This is, however, a predominant concern among policymakers now, from Nepal to Colombia.

The Problem of Inadequate Electricity Across India

Elizabeth Chatterjee
Monday, March 12, 2018

Why do the lights go out more often in some Indian states than others? While India has recently seen great gains in generation capacity and rural electrification, many utilities are still trapped in a vicious cycle of underpayment, underinvestment, and dismal performance. The effects are huge: in 2010 the World Bank estimated the cost of electricity shortages at 7 percent of India’s GDP.

The Changing Landscape of India-Africa Relations

Veda Vaidyanathan
Monday, February 26, 2018

India’s Africa policy over the past few decades has oscillated between passive and reluctantly reactive at best. Strategic apathy toward the continent was obvious on many fronts. Not only did countries in Africa not feature in New Delhi’s larger foreign policy matrix, but until recently there wasn’t any significant attention paid to the continent. Indian leaders seldom travelled to African nations and very rarely did they feature in conversations surrounding New Delhi’s foreign policy ambitions.