Economy, Politics and Society introduces students to the main currents of economic thought, the ways in which geography, history and institutions have shaped the trajectory of nations, and how basic concepts such as work and labour define both the individual and society. The important facts and events that have shaped economic development around the world, and influential theorists who have had a major impact on our thinking about the Economy, Politics and Society, will be discussed to help students understand the modes of reasoning that have been deployed in this field.
Department: Political Science | Semester: Monsoon 2022
This course provides an introduction to the world of social science (especially economics and politics) by asking a question we all care about: Why are some countries more ‘developed’ than others; why are some Indian states more developed than other states? Why, for instance, is it safer for women to walk on the streets of Mumbai rather than Sonepat? And why is the average Botswanian healthier than the average resident of Somalia? The course begins by studying different definitions of “development”. It then looks at the various explanations for development, from political institutions to economic growth to regime type, to cultural mores to leadership. Apart from the substance of the course, students will also familiarise themselves with key concepts in social science, such as: research design, correlations, dependent and independent variables, regression analysis, causal mechanisms, and randomized controlled trials.
Semester : Monsoon 2022
This course will introduce students to non-European aspects of political thought with particular recourse to various parts of the colonised world. An often-neglected aspect of the study of politics, is the study of the role of religion in the social, political and indeed economic formations of the non-European world and part of the aim of this course will be to highlight the continuing importance of religious and traditional thought to understanding wider political discourse. This course will equip students with a perspective that will enhance and broaden their understanding of notions like the state, liberalism and, democracy beyond their ‘Western’ interpretations in addition to providing the background for understanding the roots of these concepts in political theory. Most Importantly, the course will introduce students to major non-Western philosophers and thinkers. Apart from this the students will also understand how ideas travel and how these often disrupt the geographical imaginings that we often assume to be unassailable and fixed.
The nature of academia has meant that subjects and disciplines have been divided and categorized into what are thought to be distinct conceptual frameworks. However, my own belief is that the most compelling work in the social sciences is predicated on approaches that interrogate and blur these boundaries. Therefore, although this foundation course is formally linked to the political science department, the material we cover, the debates we unpack and the ideas we explore will also take into account historical context, philosophical underpinnings and indeed aspects of sociological and anthropological work. In keeping with this, the structure of the course hinges around reading ‘ancient’ or ‘pre-modern’ historical texts and then reading modern interpretations of these texts. Amongst other primary texts, we will read selections from the Analects of Confucius, the Bhagavad Gita, the Quran and their modern interpretations by Sun Yat Sen, B R Ambedkar and R Khomeini.
Department: Sociology | Semester: Monsoon 2022
This course will look into conceptualisations of new political and economic formations. It will outline the conversations, contexts and provocations pertaining to the Anthropocene and consider the arguments for reconfiguring the relations between the human and the non-human in our times. It will explore ideas that try to extend rights to animals, plants and non-living nature as part of ecologies of repair and shall offer a window into the social movements that are pursuing such engagement.
Department: Economics | Semester: Monsoon 2022
Economic Ideas from Smith to Sen
This course is intended as an introduction to the main currents of economic thought. It commences with the ideas of Adam Smith, moves on to those of the other members of the Classical School, such as Malthus, and Ricardo, and ends the first section with the writings of Marx. It next journeys to the works of the leading economists of the twentieth century including Marshall, Hayek, and Keynes, arguably the most influential economist of all time, whose work continues to find a place in policymaking today. Finally, we study the rise after the Second World War of Development Economics, focussed on the problems of the economies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In this section, are encountered the ideas of Amartya Sen who opened up a new view of development and applied it to an understanding of Indian economic history since 1947. As the course progresses it will reveal the various modes of reasoning that have been deployed in economics and also serve as a brief economic history of the world in the past two centuries.
The course intends to develop the thinking, writing, and communication abilities of students. Students read passages from the works of Smith, Marx, Keynes, and Sen among other thinkers. Two books are prescribed, namely, ‘The Worldly Philosophers’ by Robert Heilbroner and ‘Great Economic Thinkers’ by Jonathan Conlin (ed.). Articles on particular topics not covered in these will be made available.
Department: International Relations | Semester: Spring 2023
Why do wars occur and what are the conditions for peace? How do the discourses and practices of security interact with the economic and cultural dimensions of social order and produce threats? Does the spread of democracy, free trade, and international institutions facilitate cooperation among states? Is state sovereignty weakening in the face of globalization, expanding human rights norms, and transnational activism? The aim of this course is to explore the ways in which global social, economic, and political processes and structures impact international politics. It focuses on understanding the nature of political power and its manifestations through the evolution of the modern nation-state. We will deal with a range of issues – from conventional geopolitics and security concerns to nuclear and autonomous weapons, climate, food, and energy security to pandemics in an attempt to explore the ways in which states respond to and are challenged by global challenges. The course serves to sensitize students to differences in the nature of knowledge claims(epistemology) and fundamental assumptions about social/international reality (ontology) as well as political and ethical implications of different theoretical approaches in understanding world politics.
Faculty Name: Ajit Misra
Department: Economics | Semester: Spring 2023
How much should we pay for a bottle of water? How are wages determined? How is societal income distributed and where is inequality heading? How do nations grow? Can we ever be crisis-free?
This unit provides a selective analysis of the historical development of economic thought and policy from the beginning of the industrial revolution in the eighteenth century, to the current period. It looks at many of the key economic ideas/concepts which we use while addressing common questions while tracing the historical route of development of these ideas.