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INDEMB-Indo-Norwegian research and de

India and Norway: A Comparative Study of Democracy and Welfare-based Growth

Awarded: NOK 1.4 mill.

During 2013 the second of the two main project workshops brought together leading experts in Scandinavia and India on the challenges of fostering democratic politics and policies in favour of combining welfare in growth in different contexts that are both affected by liberal globalisation. A number of exciting intersections were identified, i.e. related problems and options. These include the need for broad political communes; well defined public affairs; the fostering of equal civil, political and social citizenship; the importance of supplementary democratic linkages between state and society, in addition to liberal democratic elections; different ways (in different contexts) of fostering social pacts. During 2013 and 2014, a core group of lead authors worked out draft versions of 12-13 chapters of the concluding book. A successful authors' workshop was arranged in August 2014. The next step was to further improve these Chapters. As part of that process, the authors also presented their conclusions at a PhD course at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi in the follow up education and cooperation project financed by UTFORSK. The process of improving the Chapters did then continue during the remaining part of 2015, and by late December 2015 the full manuscript was finalised (13 chapters) and submitted to the publishers. The book will be used in MA/PhD courses and also summarised in media and discussed in various public seminars in Norway, Sweden and India.

The project shall: (1) develop a framework for (by contrast to the modernisation school perspectives) "upside down" comparisons of political and institutional problems of whether and how extended democracy can foster the combination of public welfare and economic growth; this task includes the identification of, on the one hand, crucial dilemmas and debates in India, and, on the other hand, what experiences in Scandinavia and the Global South beyond India should be subject to comparative studies; (2) iden tify and invite crucial Indian and Norwegian scholars who are most knowledgeable in these respects and motivate them to engage and contribute to the joint project; (3) arrange two seminars with the participating scholars: one in India to define the proble ms and what could be learnt from Scandinavia; one in Norway to discuss final papers by the organisers and the participating scholars; (4) develop on this basis and edit a readable internationally prestigious anthology; (5) foster wider dissemination and (if there is an interest among Norwegian and Indian institutions and if additional resources are available) promote (a) visits of the seminar-participants to relevant institutions in India and Norway in conjunction with the seminars, and (b) policy inputs and exchange on the level of senior research and post graduate education.

Funding scheme:

INDEMB-Indo-Norwegian research and de