Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Doctoral Studies Pass Milestone, Advance to Summer Field Work

May 27, 2011

June marks a milestone in doctoral training at the Institute, as faculty complete the first year of training for doctoral students under a five-year NSF-funded IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) program on development and inequality. The IGERT program is a complement to the six-year-old Graduate Program in Development (GPD) at Brown.

While the GPD-IGERT program supports research in the general area of development studies, it is especially focused on one of the most crucial – but intractable – problems of the 21st century: the persistence of old and the production of new forms of inequality in the developing world.

The program, co-directed by Professors Patrick Heller and Barbara Stallings, is home to 30 trainees, including 11 IGERT fellows. All are pursuing PhDs in economics, political science, anthropology, or sociology, while also receiving interdisciplinary training in the area of development and inequality.

This year the GPD-IGERT program has seen the creation of a new series of workshops and lectures by visiting scholars and an advanced training module on comparative and multi-sited ethnographic methods, providing an uncommon combination of these two social scientific approaches.

Visitors have included Fulong Wu, director of the Urban China Research Center at Cardiff University; Juan Pablo Luna, a political science professor at Catholic University of Chile; Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi; and Pranab Bardhan, professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Fengyan Dai, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and Mariana Chudnovsky, of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Argentina, are visiting PhD students in economics and political science, respectively.

These visitors’ contributions have included Mehta’s three-lecture series on equality in India and Wu’s workshop on how globalization and economic change shape social space and urban governance in the developing world.

Ongoing programmatic activities have also involved students in foundational interdisciplinary training, field work, and the six-year-old Colloquium on Comparative Research.

Conducting fieldwork on GPD grants this summer will be:

Carla Alberti (political science): Radicals after victory: when challengers become government, in Bolivia

Ga Young Chung (sociology): Emerging democracy and its economic consequences in the post-socialist state, in Mongolia

David Ciplet (sociology): The extent and nature of Least Developed Country (LDC) influence in UNFCCC negotiations, in Germany

Daniel Kushner (political science): How do politicians navigate the complicated ethnic, religious, and social diversities of India to promote development for the nation as a whole?

Pellumb Kelmendi (political science): Variation in capacity among different bureaucratic institutions in post-conflict Kosovo

Peter Klein (sociology): Local implementation of global and national policies and programs that seek to meet development needs while addressing environmental concerns, in Brazil

Irene Pang (sociology): Challenges and constraints faced by internal migrants in India and China, and the ways their tactics and strategies in response to these challenges converge or diverge, in India

Poulomi Chakrabarti (political science): Determinants of sub-national variation in social and economic development, in India

Jazmin Sierra (political science): The winners and losers of open economy industrial policy, in Brazil

Trina Vithayathil (sociology): Observation of the nationwide caste census, in India

Mujun Zhou (sociology): Sharing education resources with migrant children, in China

IGERT fellows conducting summer field research include:

Paul Christian (economics): On the public distribution system in India

Alex Eble (economics): On inequality caused by rural-urban disparities in education and health, focusing on China and South Asia

Megan Turnbull (political science): On inequality, ethnic conflict, and democratic consolidation in Africa, working in Nigeria