Politics and Development

Studies in this theme have considered the larger questions of shifting relationships between the state, political society and the formal political public, and particular regimes of development, particularly, development policy. The shifts in politics, welfare, and the move from government to governance that characterised the 1990s have been of considerable interest here. Studies that reflect on the politics of the shift from centralised government to decentralised governance, and of the political economy of agrarian change in the wake of the intensifying impacts of globalising neoliberal capitalism, the politics of gender emergent in urban governance, have been carried out. Also, historical work on the politics of welfare in pre- and post-independence Kerala, on marginalisation, exclusion, and abjection in development particularly with reference to dalit people and sexual minorities, and local histories on politics and development in micro-sites of extreme marginalisation and deprivation in Kerala have been published. These studies too constitute a significant part of the interdisciplinary research at CDS in the recent decades. Methodologically, most of these studies employ a diverse set of tools. Most often, descriptive statistics, qualitative methods including interviews of different kinds, focus group discussions, and participant observation, as well as textual and discourse analyses are employed and triangulated. Most of them also deploy a historical perspective that traces different strands of social and political change across time.