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Patrick Heller

Watson Professors Receive Ford Foundation Grant

February 21, 2020

In February 2020, Patrick Heller and Ashutosh Varshney received a grant of $200,00 from the Ford Foundation for their ongoing project on Citizenship and Urban Governance in India. The grant will allow them to do research in several Indian cities. 


So far from smart: Missing from India’s Smart Cities plan — citizen participation (written by Ashutosh Varshney and Patrick Heller)

December 8, 2015 The Times of India

Ashutosh Varshney and Patrick Heller discuss Modi's newly announced urban plan entitled Smart Cities in the India Times, "Perhaps the most telling evidence of the importance of participation comes from the experience of the poor and less educated in Bangalore. We found that although participation rates overall are low, the poor who do participate get a better quality of life in terms of access to basic infrastructure and services than those who do not participate."


Patrick Heller, advisor on the 2013-14 India Exclusion Report, discusses the recently released report

April 29, 2015

According to Patrick Heller, professor of sociology and international affairs and an adviser on the recently released India Exclusion Report 2013-14, "This report is a path-breaking effort to provide reliable and systematic data and analysis on patterns of social exclusion in India. By exposing the ways in which policies across areas as diverse as education, health, employment and urban planning are failing to include the most marginalized and the most vulnerable, the report can serve as a vital resource for policy and opinion-makers alike."


Heller Comments on Delhi Protests

February 6, 2013

Writing in the Indian Express, Patrick Heller explains the complex social dynamics revealed by the popular protest that has filled Delhi since the gangrape and murder of a young woman in December. He cautions that it's too soon to measure the results of more than a month of street demonstrations and public outcry. "The movement has already succeeded in starting a public conversation, the first step towards changing gender norms," writes Heller. "Whether or not it can translate this discursive moment into institutional change will of course depend on how parties and the state respond."


Heller in Indian Express: civil-political conflict essential to democracy

November 7, 2012

Patrick Heller observes the "creative tension" between political and civil society in today's Indian Express, India's leading English-language daily. Noting several weeks of increasingly dramatic conflict between the activist group India Against Corruption (IAC) and the political establishment, Heller warns against giving up on civil society as a critical component of democracy. [Above: Anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference in New Delhi last month. European Pressphoto Agency]


Heller Comments in Indian Press

October 18, 2012

Patrick Heller, professor of international studies and sociology, spoke to the New Delhi-based news network ZeeNews about managing sustainable development in India's capital city. "The future of Delhi as an urban, metropolitan city is bright, but the biggest challenge is that of inclusive growth as almost 65 percent of Delhiites who live in slums have no rights," Heller said. This challenge is not limited to Delhi, he added, pointing out that half of India will be urbanized by 2030. Professor Heller is currently a visiting senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi.


India Initiative Launches at Brown

February 21, 2012

The India Initiative has been launched at Brown, based at Watson under the leadership of Institute Professor Ashutosh Varshney. The initiative will have two profiles – one research-related and the other dealing with India's public sphere and policy debates. An initial project on urban governance has already begun. Jointly directed by Varshney and Institute Professor Patrick Heller, the project is building collaborative arrangements with two Indian institutions: the Center for Policy Research (Delhi), a leading policy research institute; and Janaagraha (Bangalore), a major urban non-governmental organization. Early work is focused on Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore.


Book Analyzes Evolution of Participatory Democracy

September 9, 2011

Despite increasing interest in how citizen involvement in local government can improve governance and lead to civic renewal, questions remain about the impact of such participatory democracy. In Bootstrapping Democracy: Transforming Local Governance and Civil Society in Brazil (Stanford University Press, 2011), Institute Associate Professor Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Professor Patrick Heller investigate participatory budgeting – a mainstay now of World Bank, UNDP, and USAID development programs – to ask whether its reforms truly make a difference in deepening democracy and empowering civil society.


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.


Institute Focus on Inequality Addresses Pressing Global Issue

January 29, 2011

From the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland, to popular protests across Egypt, inequality is increasingly the watchword for global leaders and local activists alike. In this time of growing emphasis, the Watson Institute’s five-year-old strategic focus on inequality represents the vanguard of academic research and training, producing new analysis and next-generation leadership to address a pressing problem.