Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Anindita Adhikari — Claims, Complaints and Democratization of the Local State in India

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Leung Conference Room, 280 Brook St

Anindita Adhikari is a Sociology PhD candidate. She will present a work-in-progress talk on her dissertation. Anindita’s research looks at the institutionalization of new modes of local governance for public participation, claim-making and oversight that are embedded in India’s welfare rights architecture. Her research shows that these new openings in the state are not merely technocratic initiatives but bear the stamp of movements and ordinary peoples’ long struggles against state power and are deeply contested within and outside the state. The dissertation project traces how these forums for participation and accountability are built and sustained over time in fragmented contexts and offer the possibilities for assertion of democratic rights by historically marginalized groups. She examines two sites of the claim-making encounter in the state of Bihar- social audits, which facilitate collective claims and a right to grievance redress law, which has created forums for individual complaints to be heard. She finds that a gradual democratization of the local state can be explained by the distinct but complementary ways in which these two tracks to welfare are shaping the field of the local bureaucracy and civic action. 


Graduate Student Seminar

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