Agendas for Transformative Politics: Indian and Scandinavian Perspectives on Democracy, Economic Development and Well-Being (completed)

The project is a dialogue between Indian and Scandinavian scholars who are interested in the possibilities for democratic transformative politics in their respective contexts.

About the project

Specifically we propose that it may be possible to throw new light on the opportunities and constraints for such transformative politics in the present – in the context of neo-liberal globalisation - by examining India’s experience of democracy, development and well-being in the light of that of the Scandinavian countries, and vice versa.

The project is certainly not suggesting that the Scandinavian experience might constitute some sort of a ‘model’ for India or for anywhere else. Indeed we are all profoundly sceptical of the idea that the experience of any particular country or region can be a template or model for anywhere else. Research both on economic growth and on democratisation has shown up the difficulty of generalisation and the profound importance of historical context and conjuncture, and consequently of circular and cumulative causation. On the other hand we do hold strongly to the view that comparison is enormously valuable, and that holding up, as it were, one historical experience against another – in regard to particular problems rather than general paths of development – can suggest interesting questions and possibilities. In contrast to much comparative work, moreover, we wish to begin by defining these problems in the global South rather than in the North.

Objectives and outcomes

The coordinators and fourteen (7+7) of the best Indian and Scandinavian researchers with a keen interest in the possibilities of transformative politics will participate in two workshops, one in Delhi towards the end of August 2012 and the second in Oslo in May-June 2013. We aim at a pioneering book and a thematic issue of a leading journal such as the Economic and Political Weekly.

You can read the project description here (Pdf)

The project has a closed web page for publication of papers. Please go to our WebID page to log in.


Coordination and expenses are financed via the Norwegian Research Council. The participating researchers contribute the time needed for active participation and the writing of their contribution to the final report.

Tags: India
Published May 3, 2012 12:41 PM - Last modified Dec. 14, 2017 12:55 PM