Transitions

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Choosing thy neighbour

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Read new analysis from the Lok Surveys on social bias in today’s The Hindu. This article comes as the latest installment of a four-part series presenting results from the second round of the Lok Surveys. In the article, CASI’s Post-doctoral Research Fellow Neelanjan Sircar and Research Coordinator Megan Reed discuss findings regarding caste and religious bias in preferences for neighbors. Those identifying as middle class displayed much higher levels of social bias than those who do not. To the extent that the social mobility associated with middle class identification results in people from different identity groups competing for the same jobs and resources, middle class identity, we speculate, may actually amplify rather than attenuate social conflict explaining this difference is reported bias. Read more of the findings in “Choosing thy Neighbour.”

The Lok Surveys are a multi-year panel study sponsored by the Lok Foundation and carried out in collaboration with the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) at the University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Lok Surveys aim to track the attitudes of Indians over the next several years, as part of a significant new effort to understand the social and political reconfigurations taking place across India today. CMIE, on behalf of the Lok Foundation, conducted face-to-face interviews of 69,920 randomly selected Indians across 25 states and union territories between January and May 2014. 2011 Read the first article in the series “Being Middle Class in India.” Also read about and view data on the Lok Pre-election Survey. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Western anti-capitalists take too much for granted

Dr. Devesh Kapur, Director of CASI
Dr. Devesh Kapur

In a recent opinion article in Financial Times, “Western anti-capitalists take too much for granted”, CASI Director Devesh Kapur argues that capitalism’s discontents should look to India for an example of the empancipatory power of capitalist economic growth.BpX2xiFCYAA3VDI

The article comes after the launch of CASI’s newest publication, Defying the Odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs, written by Kapur with D. Shyam Babu and Chandra Bhan Prasad, CASI research affiliates and former CASI Visiting Scholars.The book project was made possible through a multi-year research grant on Dalit Entrepreneurship from the John Templeton Foundation. The book was launched this month and is available in India through Random House India. Read More.

Order your copy through Flipkart and or Amazon.


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Random House India Launches CASI’s Dalit Entrepreneur Book in Delhi

Defying the Odds book coverOn July 19 at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi, Random House India will launch the book, Defying the Odds: The Rise of the Dalit Entrepreneurs with authors – Devesh Kapur, CASI Director, and D. Shyam Babu and Chandra Bhan Prasad, who are both CASI research affiliates and former CASI Visiting Scholars. A panel discussion with the authors will include T. N. Ninan, Chairman, Business Standard, Rajiv Lall, Executive Chairman, IDFC, Milind Kamble, Chairman, Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI), and moderated by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President, Centre for Policy Research.

This book project was funded by a multi-year grant awarded to CASI from the John Templeton Foundation.

Defying the Odds is about the new Dalit identity. It profiles the phenomenal rise of twenty-one Dalit entrepreneurs, the few who through a combination of grit, ambition, drive and hustle—and some luck—have managed to break through social, economic and practical barriers. It illustrates instances where adversity compensated for disadvantage, where working their way up from the bottom instilled in Dalit entrepreneurs a much greater resilience as well as a willingness to seize opportunities in sectors and locations eschewed by more privileged business groups.

Traditional Dalit narratives are marked by struggle for identity, rights, equality and for inclusion. These inspiring stories capture both the difficulty of their circumstances as well as their extraordinary steadfastness, while bringing to light the possibilities of entrepreneurship as a tool of social empowerment.

The book project was made possible by a multi-year research grant on Dalit Entrepreneurship CASI was awarded from the John Templeton Foundation.

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Building Indianness

Dr. Devesh Kapur, Director of CASI

Dr. Devesh Kapur, Director of CASI

CASI’s Director, Devesh Kapur, has written a must-read opinion article in Business Standard which gives specific suggestions on how the NDA government can increase social solidarity in India.

“One of the most difficult challenges facing the new government is to weave a stronger fabric of “Indianness”, with a shared sense of destiny and social solidarity, while respecting the multiple threads that form the beliefs and cultures that constitute the multi-hued Indian fabric” Continue reading…


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TOI Series Article 4

Corruption and Access to BenefitsRead the final installment of the Sunday Times of India four part series “The Indian Lok FoundationVoter: Inside Out” this time written by Dr. Rajiv Lall, the founder of the Lok Foundation. In the article, Lall reconciles conflicting findings from the Lok Surveys about the importance of caste and economics to the election. He argues that the Lok Surveys reveal an Indian voter  that is “very pragmatic… looking to make an electoral choice in pursuit of his or her economic interests by relying on candidates and parties that he/she thinks will deliver results in a context marked by weakening institutions, poor governance, and increasing competition for upward social mobility.” 

Read the article here or on TimesofIndia.com.

Learn more about the project and our findings.

Read about our research methodology.


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TOI Series Article 3

Discrimination chart

In this Sunday’s installment of our Times of India four-part series on the Indian voter, authors Devesh Kapur, Milan Vaishnav, and Neelanjan Sircar take a look at how voters actually feel about dynasty and criminality in Indian politics using data collected from the Lok 2014 pre-election survey. They also examine caste-based discrimination and caste affinity (see charts), finding that 57% of people would be troubled by a candidate from a different caste winning the election. You can view the article here or directly on TOI’s website.

Don’t forget to also read the first two installments of the series, “NDA makes gains with urban, OBC voters” and “Growth is No. 1 poll issue for voters, survey shows.” Detailed information on the Lok survey methodology and weighting is available in this note. If you are in the Philadelphia or DC area, be sure to attend our events this week. Most importantly, keep following to Transitions for more pre-election analysis and commentary.


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Milan Vaishnav discusses Lok Survey on Bloomberg TV