Indian Council of Social Science Research
(Ministry of Human Resource Development)
It aims at nurturing fresh theoretical and empirical reflection on the question of India’s unity and diversity. The different levels and kinds of integration in India today will form the focus of this research programme across a variety of institutional spheres, social contexts and regional locales.
Imperialism: Old and New
The term imperialism has undergone changes several times in line with the change in actual circumstances. The changing perceptions about imperialism, as well as the changing contours of the world economy which have given rise to these changing perceptions, are both matters that deserve serious study and research.
Democracey: New Publics
A democratic social order reaquires a public, unified by a common civic identity, engaging in self-governance by making informed decisions. Democracies in the past have excluded certain populations from participation by blocking the public sphere to those sections and thereby excluding them from the scope of ‘publics’.
Environment Social Ecology and Climate Change
Climate change, due to global warming, has become an important national concern. Its fallout on environment, social ecology and livelihood need serious attention. It threatens to deepen vulnerabilities, erode hard own gains and seriously undermine prospects of sustainable development.
Detailed note on the Themes may be seen at Appendix-A.
The above themes are suggestive and do not preclude submission of proposals on other themes considered relevant by the institutions. Proposals alongwith credentials of affiliating Institute may be submitted to the ICSSR by 31st December 2010.
Indian council of Social Social Science Research
(Ministry of Human Resource Development)
Guidelines for submission of proposals on Sponsored Research Programmes:
Proposal for Resarch Programme: Formulatin, Submission and General Conditions.
1) An institution/group of institutions interested in carrying out a programme of research on a given theme in which it has necessary facilities and expertise, may submit a proposal thereon to the ICSSR.
2) The institution shall suggest the name of the Programme Coordinator and other resource persons in the programme and furnish their curriculum vitae with major publications including research papers/articles published in peer reviewed journals. In addition, it shall provide information about the facilities and other expertise available at the host institute.
3) The proposal for the research programme should be self-contained and should cover the rationale for running a programme.
4) Detailed phasing of the activities with a schedule of delivery.
5) Brief outlines of specific studies to be carried out.
6) Duration of the research programme should not be more than three years.
7) Financial implication and phase-wise distribution of expenditure:
(a)personnel (the designatin and the pay structure to be specified, (b) Field Work, (c) Travel(including travel abroad where necessary), (d) Data processing, (e) Stationery, (f) Printing, (g) Books, Journals, Photocopies, etc. (h) Contingency, and (i) Overhead Charges (7.5% of the total project cost), (j) Any Other (to be specified with full justification).
The research programme will be supervised by a Co-ordinator/Co-0rdinating Committee, consisting of members of academic staff and others (whereas necessary) nominated by the institution. One of the members of this Committee shall be the Principal Co-ordinator. The research projects, under the programme, shall be directed by one or more members of the co-ordinating committee. Complete information about the co-ordinating committee, principal co-ordinator, and directors of individual projects should be given in the proposals.
Seven copies of the proposal alongwith a soft copy, should be submitted to the ICSSR by *31st December 2010.
On receipt of the report of the Committee appointed by the Research Committee of the ICSSR, the Council will make the final decision on the sanctin of any such programme.
Permission to transfer a research programme from one institution to another will ordinarily not be granted. Prior approval of the ICSSR would be needed for a change of the Principal Co-ordinator.
The ICSSR would hold an annual review of each research programme through a team of consultants appointed for the purpose.
The proposal, with all necessary details, may be sent to:
Director (Research Project)
Indian Council of Social Science Research
Post Box No. 10528
Aruna Asaf Ali Marg
JNU Insitutional Area
New Delhi – 110067
NOTE: Last date of submission of the proposal has been extended to 10th Jan.- 2011.
NATIONAL INTEGRATION OLD AND NEW BEARINGS is a research programme which aims at nurturing fresh theoretical and empirical reflection on the question of India’s unity and diversity.
The different levels and kinds of integration in India today will form the focus of this research programme across a variety of institutional spheres, social contexts and regional locales. It will confront emerging problems that characterize the dynamics of national development, like the new relations between rural and urban locations, the right to livelihood, the relations between people and physical space, culture and language, violence and social equity, signs of new social cohesiveness and separatism, the sense of contemporary public space and the sustainability of extant development models.
Concerned with advancing new perspectives on the question of national integration, the initiative will strive to encourage a pluralism of disciplinary contributions studying formal and informal practices on the project of Indian nationhood, while also seeking conceptual and operative categories capable of understanding and facing the problems inherent in the profound transformations of contemporary India.
Democracy: New Publics
A democratic social order requires a public, unified by a common civic identity, engaging in self-governance by making informed decisions. Democracies in the past and have excluded certain populations from participation by blocking the public sphere to those sections and thereby excluding them from the scope of ‘public’. In the west the black and the women were the classic examples. In India women Dalits were such sections. The Democratic politics in the contemporary world is increasingly focusing on the public sphere as on important medium of politically active and informed agents, it is now evident that this sphere extends for beyond the democratic publics of electoral politics and the active citizens in civil society in the conventional sense of the term. All over the world a large number of social movements resulted in a process that made development of a participatory democracy a possibility. In this process the content of the participation, matters more than the institutional arrangements of theprocess. These movements brought in changes in political communication, participation and emergence of identities. In the western democracies the feminist movements, the organized movements of the lower classes and the alternative technology movement have played very important roles in this sections. These have made participation of certain disadvantaged sections, who did not have easy access to public sphere easier. In India women, dalits and minorities of various kinds organized themselves to make their presence felt in the public sphere. These sections constitute the new publics of democracy. The experiences of these public in their struggle for democratic participation and exercising of their rights constitute a very interesting and important area of the study for India. ICSSR wishes promote research on the new publics in India through its research programme support scheme.
In the post-second world war period when decolonization had occurred and when Keynesian demand management policies held sway, the term “imperialism” was used primarily to denote the quest by MNCs for raw materials all over the third world. Compared to the concept of “imperialism” that had been prevalent in its heyday in the pre-first world years, this post-war usage entailed at least four major differences: first, the term “finance capital” receded to the background and the focus was on MNCs (indeed Baran and Sweezy called their book Monopoly Capital); second, the quest for markets which Rosa Luxemburg and others had emphasized receded to the background (since state intervention in demand management was thought to have solved the market problem); third, the issue of raw materials came to the fore because third world countries after decolonization had sought to gain control over their natural resources; and fourth, precisely for this reason, autonomous third world industrialization under the dirigiste regime, that came into existence after decolonization in one country after another, was seen as a target of attack by imperialism in order to ensure availability of raw materials for the first world. Harry Magdoff’s The Age of Imperialism captured this changed perception of imperialism.
In the era of globalization the term has again undergone a change, in line with the change in the actual circumstances. Again one discern at least four differences: first, the term finance capital is back in vogue and the dominant role of finance is once again recognized as being central to imperialism; second, the enormous mobility of finance (as distinct from direct foreign investment) has given it an international character, so that instead of the Hobson-Lenin concept, of a nation-based finance capital that embodied a coalescence of banks and industry, the term “international finance capital”, that is globally mobile and significantly detached from production per se, is used; third, the posing of a contradiction between imperialism and the third world has become passé since big capital within the third world is seen to be increasing integrated with international finance capital, with a major rift developing within the third world economies and societies themselves between the big bourgeoisie and its supporters on the one hand and the working population on the other; and fourth, the concept of the nation-State is seen to have become both feeble as an oppositional force against international finance capital (which explains the decline in Keynesian demand management as well as in third world dirigisme) and also problematical as regards to its content, since the nation itself has got fractured. Hardt and Negri’s major work Empire focuses on this last point.
These changing perceptions about imperialism, as well as the changing contours of the world economy which have given rise to these changing perceptions, are both matters that deserve serious study and research. A great deal of research on these issues is happening abroad; it should also happen in India, since India offers a particularly suitable vantage point for a study of imperialism.
Environment, Social Ecology and Climate Change
In the past few years, concern for changing natural environment has received significant research interest to understand this natural phenomenon though only in scientific arena. Subsequently the environmental issues have become one of the ardently debated aspects in advance researches. The concern for changing climate change and dwindling resources in recent years has further added to this discourse internationally.
In this age of
globalization and liberalisation, the increased crisis of land, water and forest
resources and subsequently the loss of biodiversity, due to heavy urbanization
and industrialization, have not only disturbed the balance of natural ecological
regimes, but have also caused serious problems to social environment or the
social ecology. The limited availability and controlled access to natural
resource has posed new challenges to the natural livelihood mechanisms of the
societies at large and reflected the contradictions of governance systems of the
The increasing social conflicts or tensions over depleting ecological infrastructures i.e. land, water, forest or flora and fauna and finally the wilderness, at inter or intra regional and village or community level are some of the manifestations of ecological dilemmas of the societies in today’s world. It is often said that neglecting the future ecological consequences & the illusion of acquiring unprecedented prosperity with dominant economic strategies have always been at the core of development planning in modern states which has brought us to this vulnerable situation. India is not an exception to such phenomenon.
To overcome its waning economy, in post independence India the capitalist model of development was adopted and rapid industrialization was given priority in development planning. It did not pay attention to biophysical and socio-cultural realities of the country and sustainable use of resources as well. In fact the idea of so called modernisation began with the advent of colonialism in India and with industrialisation in Europe. The colonial governance model which neglected the ecological concerns was designed to rule and control its subjects to serve the interest of the empire. It disorganised the traditional socio-economic fabric to meet out the demand for its expanding economy. Thus, natural resources were brought under government control, which until then were owned by communities. These resources then were depleted through commercial exploitation, resulting into collapsing of natural resource base of traditional societies. This situation caused dissatisfaction among communities which were directly dependent on nature specific ways of utilising resources.
an entity in which we all subsist and on which our entire agriculture and
industrial development depends. Not only pastoralism, transhumance, agriculture
and cottage industries but also our folk culture and indigenous knowledge system
is closely connected with this. However, the colonial model of development was
adopted without any change in free India. It further accelerated to such
development scenario demands wider understanding of natural and social
ecological arrangements because social conditions alone cannot be adequately
explained with other social factors without considering environmental factors.
The ecological infrastructure dominantly conditions the direction of social
progress (economic life, political relations, social structure and even
ideology) and at the same time human intervention shapes the natural
The cause and
consequences of such social problems are the real research problems of social
science. However, we have not been able to pay adequate attention to such
researches in our country which is urgently needed. We live in a very difficult
and diverse subcontinent and its diversity compels us for deeper and larger
studies on our social ecology-from Himalaya to oceans and from plains and
deserts to ghats (wharfs) and wetlands. The crisis of market economy, the fear
of climate change and finally the consequences of globalization have given us
again the chance to study social ecology.