A one-day workshop on ‘India’s changing role in the global economy’ took place on Thursday 16 October. It was initiated by SPERI, but hosted and funded by De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester where over half the population is made up of ethnic minorities, mainly from India and Pakistan. It was the perfect place to invite political economists, economists and political scientists to discuss India’s re-emergence as a major player in the global political economy.
One of SPERI’s Directors, Professor Tony Payne, said at the beginning of the workshop that ‘the idea behind the day was to mix genuine India specialists with academics interested in political economy in the wider sense’. The format of a closed workshop wherein a small group of scholars discussed draft papers that had been circulated in advance worked to create valuable discussions on the topic areas. Each of the paper-givers had no more than five minutes to present his or her paper: the emphasis was on collaboration and constructive criticism.
The 6 papers discussed were:
- ‘Reflections on India’s Emergence in the World Economy’ by Amit Ray (Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum)
- ‘Boom and Bust? A Political Economy Reading of India’s Growth Experience, 1993-2013’ by Kunal Sen (University of Manchester)
- ‘States, Ideas and Economic Reform in India’ by Rahul Mukherji (National University of Singapore)
- ‘The Political Economy of Food Security in India’ by Louise Tillin (King’s College, London)
- ‘The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Protection for Pharmaceuticals and Genetic Resources in India’ by Valbona Muzaka (King’s College, London)
- ‘A Consensus Unravels: NREGA and the Paradox of Rules-based Welfare in India’ by Matthew McCartney (University of Oxford)
Contributors to the workshop included Zoe Plaeger, Katharine Rietig, Jonathan Davies from De Montfort University and John Hobson from the Politics Department at the University of Sheffield.
The day ended with a well-attended public lecture at DMU delivered by Professor Mukherji. The lecture was entitled ‘India’s Tryst with Globalisation’ and gave an insightful account of the modern history of India’s political economy and its prospects for growth and development under the new Modi government. You can access the slides of the presentation here.