Books: Urban Governance in India

Joël Ruet, Stéphanie Tawa-Lama Rewal, Governing India’s Metropolises, New Delhi: Routledge, 2009.

« Urban governance today is characterized by a multiplicity of actors involved in the management of local affairs. The questions for inquiry are: who are the individuals and institutions, public and private, who actually plan and manage urban affairs? In what ways do they do so? Whose interests are accommodated, and under what conditions can co-operative action be taken? And, more generally, in what ways are interactions between the many actors of urban governance patterned? This volume, based on a series of case studies from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad, discusses the governance of Indian metropolises with these questions in mind. It analyses the changes that have taken place in governance over the last 15 years as a result of liberalization and decentralization, focusing on six collective services: primary education, healthcare, subsidized food, slum rehabilitation, water and sanitation, and solid waste management. The book documents the continued appropriation of the state by an enlarged elite (including the vast middle class) and an incomplete democratization of urban local bodies (evident in the lack of empowerment of municipal councilors), which goes along with a new economic regime as defined by new modes of engagement between the private sector and the state. Also, the concept of governance as it is operationalized in this volume highlights the importance of class in interactions between actors. By disentangling formal elements of governance (legitimized by the state) from informal ones (involving actors who are beyond the recognition of the state) the book ultimately reveals various power equations at play. This volume will be of interest to scholars and students of sociology, political science, development studies, development economics, urban planning, and public policy studies. »

 

 Dominique Lorrain (ed.), Métropoles XXL en pays émergents, Paris : Presse de Sciences Po, 2011. 

« Ingouvernables ? Les très grandes métropoles, de 5 à 20 millions d’habitants, se multiplient ; la majorité d’entre elles se situent dans les pays émergents, accroissant les défis : peut-on en effet gouverner de vastes ensembles complexes et divisés par des inégalités ? La recherche a souvent répondu par la négative. Cet ouvrage développe une approche de la ville matérielle et de ses institutions. La prise en compte des réseaux urbains et des institutions qui permettent de les piloter montre que, sans élaborer de grande théorie, les responsables urbains ont inventé les mécanismes d’un gouvernement ordinaire. Ils l’ont fait à partir de la résolution de problèmes pratiques et irrépressibles : fournir de l’électricité, de l’eau potable, assainir, permettre les déplacements etc. Trois résultats ressortent : les réseaux techniques contribuent à structurer les villes et font office de dispositifs de cohérence. Les métropoles sont d’autant plus gouvernables qu’il existe un pouvoir légitime de rang supérieur capable de faire des arbitrages. Enfin, l’urbanisation anarchique trouve ses causes dans les régimes de propriété foncière, dans une insuffisante planification urbaine et dans les pratiques des promoteurs et des acteurs locaux qui s’enrichissent par la production du bâti. Par la nouveauté de ces hypothèses, la précision des analyses conduites à Shanghai, Mumbai, Le Cap et Santiago du Chili, ce livre s’adresse à tous ceux qui travaillent sur la ville : élus, fonctionnaires territoriaux et fonctionnaires d’État, cadres des firmes urbaines, citoyens et étudiants. »

 

 I.S.A. Baud and J.De Wit (eds), New Forms of Urban Governance in India. Shifts, Models, Networks and Contestations. Delhi : Sage Publications, 2009.  

« This work looks at the impact of decentralization on local governance arrangements and citizen participation in urban democracy processes in India. To analyse the various issues, it includes case studies from the major cities throughout the country. New Forms of Urban Governance in India: Shifts, Models, Networks and Contestations examines how local governments work together with other actors in governing mega cities in India, especially in view of globalization and internal transformation processes. It analyses whether new forms of governance open up opportunities for more participatory urban governance and improved service delivery, with positive implications for poor groups in the cities. The articles in the collection deal with two major processes—bringing the government closer to citizens through decentralization, and working with private sector and civil society groups in providing urban services. Participation of the rich and the poor in local democratic processes, and the relations between local and city planning are focussed. Students and academics involved in Urban Studies, Economics and Development Studies and the study of Local Governance will find the work valuable. »

 

See Also:

Richard C. Crook and James Manor, Democracy and Decentralization in South Asia and West Africa. Participation, Accountability and Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998

Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria and Colin McFarlane, Urban Navigations. Politics, Space and the City in South Asia. Delhi: Routledge, 2011

K.C. Sivaramakrishnan, Revisioning Indian Cities. The Urban Renewal Mission. Delhi: Sage Publications, 2011

Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal and Marie-Hélène Zérah, « Urban Democracy: A South Asian Perspective », South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, 5/2011. Available online.

Stéphanie Tawa Lama – Rewal, Marie-Hélène Zérah and Véronique Dupont, (Eds) Urban Policies and the Right to the City in India: Rights, Responsibilities and Citizenship, UNESCO, Delhi, 2011. Available online.

Marie-Hélène Zérah and Loraine Kennedy, « Villes indiennes sous tutelles? Une réflexion sur les échelles de gouvernance à partir des cas de Mumbai et Hyderabad. », Metropoles, 9/2011. Available online.

 

Publication: Scholars and Prophets

Roland Lardinois, Scholars and Prophets. Sociology of India from France 19th-20th centuries. New Delhi: Social Science Press, 2013

« Scholars and ProphetsSociology of India from France 19th – 20th centuries is being translated from L’invention de I’ Inde. Entre ésotérisme et science, and deals with the historical genesis of the long and rich scholarship on India in France since the beginning of 19thcentury, with particular reference to the work of Louis Dumont. It considers the works of scholars and the essayists, poets, or esotericists who published on India and shows that Dumont has been influenced by both groups. This understanding illuminates the main criticism that is still addressed to Homo hierarchicus, that in this book Dumont mistook the internal Brahminical view point on the caste system for a sociological view. In the last chapter, the book contrasts Dumont’s work with issues raised by McKim Marriott’s project and the Subaltern Studies from India. It defends that the core issue dealt with by all scholars is the epistemic status given to scientific knowledge of Indian society. In the course of explaining the French intellectual tradition, the author relates many fascinating interactions and little known anecdotes of famous men and women which capture the intellectually vibrant climate of the time. Both scholars and students of the social sciences will find this book very useful. »

Contents:

Introduction: Genesis of the sociology of India
Prologue: René Daumal and the autofiction of the cultural field
Part One
The Genesis of a Savant Milieu (1795-1927)
Chapter 1. The struggle for academic legitimacy
Chapter 2. Orientalist knowledge and prophetic discourses
Chapter 3. The Struggle for institutional autonomy
Part Two
Scholars and Prophets (The interwar period)
Chapter 4. The field of scholarship on India in the 1930s
Chapter 5. Scholarly practices
Chapter 6. Prophetic strategies
Chapter 7. Hinduism as a disciplinary issue
Part Three
Social Science and Indigenous Science
(Second half of the 20th century)
Chapter 8. Louis Dumont and the indigenous science
Chapter 9. Louis Dumont and the cunning of reason
Chapter 10. The Avatara of scholarship on India
Conclusion. Sociology put to the test of India
Postscript. Note on the construction of a research subject
Appendix: Multi Correspondence Analysis
Postface to the English-language edition
List of documents, tables, figures
Sources and bibliography
Index
Acknowledgments

Reviews:

Jules Naudet, « The Fascination for India », La Vie des idées, 11 March 2013. Available online.

Rosane Rocher, « New Perspectives on the History of Indian Studies in Continental Europe », Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 129, N.4, Oct.Dec. 2009. Available online.

François Leclercq, « Roland Lardinois, L’invention de l’Inde: Entre ésotérisme et science », South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, January 2010. Available online.

Gisèle Sapiro, « Roland Lardinois, L’Invention de l’Inde. Entre ésotérisme et science« , TRANSEO, Ausgabe 01 – January 2009. Available online.

Books: Indian and Chinese Engineers in the Silicon Valley

Anna Lee Saxenian, Yasuyuki Motoyama, Xiaohong Quan, Local and global networks of immigrant professionals in Silicon Valley. San Francisco : Public Policy Institute of California, 2002. 

« Foreign-born entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are becoming agents of global economic change, and their increased mobility is fueling the emergence of entrepreneurial networks in distant locations. In this report, AnnaLee Saxenian investigates this development by drawing on the first large-scale survey of foreign-born professionals in Silicon Valley. Focusing on first-generation Indian and Chinese immigrants, the report compares their participation in local and global networks both to one another and to that of native-born professionals. The results indicate that local institutions and social networks within ethnic communities are more important than national or individual characteristics in explaining entrepreneurial behavior. The report also suggests that the so-called brain drain from India and China has been transformed into a more complex, two-way process of « brain circulation » linking Silicon Valley to urban centers in those countries. » 

 

Bernard P. Wong, The Chinese in Silicon Valley. Globalization, Social Networks, and Ethnic Identity. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005.

« The Chinese in Silicon Valley examines the complex and ever-growing role of Chinese American scientists and engineers in Silicon Valley. Globalization brings workers from many different countries and cultures together, impacting more than just their work environments. The Chinese who settle in Silicon Valley must learn to prosper despite changes in cultural identity, family life, and often citizenship. They learn how to utilize new social networks and make sense of a shifting ethnic identity. The Chinese community in Silicon Valley is being developed with the advantages and constraints of many factors: the new global economy, technology, the Chinese immigrants’ traditional culture, and the American host culture. Bernard Wong shows that the formation of Chinese American ethnic identity and community is a result of this globalization and transnationalism. This informative book presents important new knowledge on the connection between Chinese ethnicity and highly-skilled labor and entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. Secondary statistical data combined with primary personal interview data makes this a detailed and interesting study of globalization, social networks, and ethnic identity. »

 

Shenglin Chang, The Global Silicon Valley Home. Lives and Landscapes within Taiwanese American Transpacific Culture. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006.

« The economic boom of the 1990s that led to the rapid rise of computer hardware and software companies (on both sides of the Pacific Rim) also led to the rise of a trans-Pacific commuter culture, a culture in which thousands of Taiwanese-born high-tech engineers realized that they could greatly increase their career opportunities by establishing a life-style that allowed them and their families to regularly commute between two homes, one in Silicon Valley and the other in Taiwan. The Global Silicon Valley Home takes a close look at how participants in the jet-set, wired-to-the-Net, trans-Pacific commuter culture have invented new ways of thinking about how their homes reflect their personal identities. »

 

See Also:

Anna Lee Saxenian Silicon Valley’ s new immigrant entrepreneurs. San Francisco : Public Policy Institute of California, 1999.

S. S. Kshastriy. Silicon Valley greats. Indians who made a difference to technology and the world. Delhi : Vikas, 2003.