ICI Scholars on the India China Border Issue

 

We have already shared some of the recent articles by ICI Fellows and affiliated scholars on the developing story of the most recent border tensions between India and China. Today we offer several more recent articles from our ICI network, including Professors Nimmi Kurian and Mahendra Lama.

Kurian was recently part of the ChinaFile discussions hosted by the Asia Society titled “Why are India and China in a Border Standoff?” A handful of prominent scholars were invited to share their thoughts on the border dispute and what their take was on some of the underlying issues and concerns. In her piece Kurian argues:

Part of the reason it has ended up with a bad bargain with China is that India’s crisis diplomacy has often worked without a credible notion of what the endgame is. This could well be a problem of not knowing what the problem is. For instance, the confidence-building measures India has negotiated with China have by and large aimed at conflict prevention, content with only “managing” differences. This explains why the 1993 and 1996 agreements and confidence-building measures have not segued into a higher order goal of conflict transformation. By setting the bar of peace low by design, is it any wonder that India has ended up hitting lower?

You can read the entire piece from Kurian, as well as read the other contributions to the discussion, at the Asia Society website here.

The other piece comes from Professor Mahendra Lama. His Op-Ed on the topic appeared in the Nepali newspaper Kathmandu Post, “No One Wants War.” Lama argues there is already a history of cooperation that should be built on to restore the temporary rifts between the two countries, and that neighboring states need to also play a more constructive role as mediators. Here is an excerpt from the piece by Professor Lama:

It is critical for these two Asian giants to move towards cooperation and integration instead of a competitive-rivalry framework. This would result in a win-win paradigm of an Asian Century. The bilateral parleys that have been occurring over the last 30 years have been reinforced by exchanges between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, there are a number of forces—rumour mongers, war jingoists and intolerant institutions—that are trying to drive a wedge between the two countries. These negative forces thrive in a situation of instability and conflict. A majority of the countries in South Asia share a common border with both China and India; as such they will have to calculate the costs of conflicts on societies, economies and geographies. Regional civil societies therefore, must come together to prevent conflict.

You can read the full Op-Ed on the Kathmandu Post website here.

What are your thoughts on the border issue? Let us know in our latest online poll.  Take Poll

 

CFP – Envisioning the Future and Understanding the Realities of India’s Urban Ecologies

 

Envisioning the Future and Understanding the Realities of India’s Urban Ecologies

An Interdisciplinary Conference hosted by Kennesaw State University and Georgia State University
In partnership with the Consulate of India, Atlanta

March 15-17, 2018

 

About the Conference:

India, a land of ancient wisdom and cultural world heritage, is home to the world’s first cities. In the last twenty years it has experienced unprecedented growth, development, and change, altering its physical, cultural, and social landscape with dramatic effect. Today, its cities embody a paradoxical mix of globalization, modernity, and advanced technology with regionalism, tradition, and religion, juxtaposed with extreme poverty and inequality. Sustainability, in all its facets has emerged as a key problem in India’s development story. Urbanization is not an
independent variable of development, but an integral part and product of the development process itself. Therefore, there is a need to understand urban issues as part of a larger development process affecting both rural and urban communities and livelihoods, employing historical and contemporary perspectives (with regional and global implications). Building off research in the fields of Sociology, Biology, and Architecture, the conference will examine contemporary urban growth in India and its effects on the everyday ecologies of its people. Our goal is a more holistic understanding of India’s urban ecologies, their interdependence, and the need for more sustainable strategies for urbanization. India’s cities can provide applicable lessons to the more global concerns of urbanization around the world.

More information available here on the conference.

Potential topics include:

  • Is there a distinctly ‘Indian’ Urbanism?
  • Rural Urbanization and Urban Planning
  • Balancing Growth and Development
  • Colonial and Postcolonial Cities
  • Dispersed Cities
  • Infrastructure and Innovation in Historic Cities
  • Global/Smart City Development in India and its Implications
  • E-governance and Technology
  • Green Cities and Sustainability
  • Current Trends, Future Projections, and Key Challenges for Sustainability
  • Inclusive Growth: Slums, Urban Villages, and the Challenge of Urbanism
  • Value Struggles: Waste, Work and Ecology
  • Agrarian Crisis and Land Acquisition
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship
  • Impacts of Urbanization on the Environment
  • Urban Health and Quality of Life
  • Global Warming, Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Re-emerging Diseases
  • Infrastructure & Industrialization: Impact on Air, Water, Sanitation & Pollution

 

Guidelines for Submission of Papers: 

To participate, please submit papers of no more than 5000 words. The entire paper submission (title page, abstract, main text, figures, graphs, tables, references, etc.) must be in ONE document created in either Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), or Rich Text Format (.rtf). Please include your name, institutional affiliation, position or title, contact phone number, and e-mail. If you wish to propose a panel, please submit the names and institutional affiliation of all panelists.

Attach the document to an email message. Type “Year of India Conference” in the subject line and send it to Dan Paracka.

Deadline for Submission of Proposed Papers is September 8, 2017.

Select Papers will be eligible for publication in a Special Issue of KSU’s peer reviewed Journal of Global Initiatives focused on India.

 

The Importance of National Legislation for Refugee Protection in India – Shreya Sen

Image credit John Flannery: Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/kkjCkhWe are pleased to share a recent article written by one of our former ICKCBI Student Fellows Shreya Sen. She is currently a Doctoral Fellow at the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Calcutta. Sen’s latest piece is titled Understanding the importance of a national legislation for refugee protection in India. Sen argues that “the establishment of a domestic protection regime for refugees is of utmost necessity” in India, noting that only some kind of a formal mechanism can truly respond to the “interests, concerns and requirements of refugee and asylum seeking groups residing in India.” Sen agues one way to do this is by incorporating the UN Convention on Refugees into India’s legal framework, a move which she argues would require establishing a national law for refugees that would be able to respond to and help asylum seekers.

Here is an excerpt from her piece.

India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees or it’s Protocol of 1967. There is also no uniform national legislation that caters to the well-being of refugees in India. Policies adopted for refugee welfare in India are usually ad-hoc in nature, their implementation depending entirely on the whims and fancies of the political parties in power. Yet India has been home to refugees for nearly seven decades, with asylum seekers arriving in large numbers from as far and wide as the African nations of Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia as well as from neighboring South and Southeast Asian countries like Myanmar, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and from East Asian countries such as China.

This paper looks to assess the importance of domestic legislation for refugee protection in India through: 1) a discussion of India’s international humanitarian obligations, with particular reference to its reluctance to accede to the 1951 Refugee Convention; 2) an examination of the prevailing legal conditions for refugees in India; and 3) a scholarly analysis of the various ways in which national legislation can benefit the refugee population in India. In conclusion, this paper argues that the establishment of a domestic protection regime for refugees is of utmost necessity, as it is only such a regime that can successfully respond to the interests, concerns and requirements of refugee and asylum seeking groups residing in India.

You can read the full post online at Rights in Exile.

Healing the India-China Border Trauma – L.H.M. Ling

 

We’re pleased to share another engaging and insightful post from former India China Fellow (2008-2010) and New School Professor L.H.M. Ling. In her latest piece for the Asia & The Pacific Policy Society, Professor Ling engages the renewed border tensions between India and China, and calls for a different approach to the traditional Western power politics and border securitization discourses as a solution to strengthen historic India-China relations. Here is an excerpt from her piece.

On 20 October 1962, Chinese and Indian forces exchanged fire in Ladakh and across the MacMahon Line in the Himalayas. A month later, the war ended as mysteriously as it had begun, yet has shadowed Sino-Indian relations ever since. A ‘trust deficit’ keeps tabs on a series of mutual grievances: the disputed borderlands of Arunachal Pradesh and Tawang; China’s support of Pakistan and presence in Kashmir; India’s ‘Look East’ policy (that is, closer relations with the United States) combined with its unswerving support of the Dalai Lama and his exiled Tibetan community in Dharamsala.

These tensions have flared again recently. Both India and China have been upgrading and expanding their military presence in the Indian Ocean. As two of the world’s fastest-growing economies, they compete fiercely for crucial energy resources in Asia, Africa and Latin America. With one-third of humanity living in these two nuclear powers, a mere skirmish between them could destabilise the region and affect the security of the entire globe.

Still, conventional analysts of international relations would shrug: what’s new? After all, isn’t the international arena just like Hobbes’ state of human nature: “nasty, poor, brutish, lonely, and short”? And doesn’t this kind of power politics apply to everybody and everywhere, regardless of history, culture, language, religion or worldview?

In this view, non-Hobbesian, not to mention non-Western, ways of thinking and doing, relating and being, do not matter. At best, India and China can expect a third, more powerful actor – that is, the US – to intervene and enforce a temporary salve. At worst, war breaks out.

Read the full article by Professor Ling on the APPS Policy Forum website.

Chinese FDI in Latin American Extractive Industries – Adriana Abdenur

 

We are excited to share an upcoming publication from former India China Fellow (2008-2010) and Postdoctoral Fellow Adriana Abdenur, currently at the Fundação Getulio Vargas in Brazil. Professor Abdenur’s article on Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in Latin America and the Caribbean looks at the growing role of China as an investor in extractive industries, and how Chinese actors are engaged in these sectors. The full text of the article, “Skirting or Courting Controversy? Chinese FDI in Latin American Extractive Industries,” will be available soon from the International Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement.

Here is the abstract for Professor Abdenur’s article.

China has become a key player in the development sector in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), not only due to trade but also because of the growing scope and visibility of its foreign direct investments (FDI). However, Chinese investments in the region are far from homogeneous, not only oscillating over time and space, but also varying across modes of incorporation into LAC economies. In the extractive industries, Chinese actors rely on a wide gamut of strategies to open up markets and to help ensure access to oil and minerals. This chapter breaks down the concept of FDI into three umbrella categories—greenfield projects, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures—to analyse how Chinese capital enters LAC extractive sectors. The chapter argues that, faced with a relatively unfamiliar landscape and new sources of uncertainty, Chinese companies tend to ‘test the water’ through mergers and acquisitions, as well as joint ventures, before delving into greenfield activities like direct mining or drilling. This cautious approach signals a degree of institutional learning on the part of Chinese stakeholders, as well as the desire to avoid charges of neo-colonialism, imposed dependency, and lax adherence to formal regulations.

More information about Professor Abdenur’s article, and the full text once released, can be found on the International Development Policy website.

 

Student Fellows Making Headlines in India

 

Kate from BeyondAMC Games with students in India

Kate from BeyondAMC Games working with students in India.

Three of the India China Institute’s Student Fellows are currently working in Belagavi, India to bring new gaming approaches to social problems. Their company, BeyondABC Games, is working to engage young people around pressing social issues through a variety of interactive media. Recently they were in Herwadkar at a local school using their game, TOUCH, to raise awareness about issues of personal safety and improper sexual contact.

Danny, Kate, Ker, and Jack from US and Canada are currently in Belagavi promoting their BeyondABC gaming company which is on a mission to to create social change through play (Education through games).

Through games, kids can freely explore without worrying about consequences, allowing them to understand the relationship between cause and effect. In a virtual world they can be whoever they want, and figure out life in a safe environment. In games it’s ok to make mistakes, because you can just restart the level. You can push boundaries, break things and build them back up again. We believe games have the potential to create a more socially aware generation.

You can read the full article online here.

CISLI Fellows Explore NYC Waterways

 

As part of our China India Scholar-Leaders initiative, we currently have our eight CISLI Fellows in New York City for their month-long residency. Over the course of the residency the Fellows have been developing their research projects for the next two years, getting to know each other, exploring the city, and honing their research and methods skills. As part of the residency we have taken the Fellows on a number of field trips to learn more about New York City, its history and culture, and a range of important current issues connected to the overall theme of the initiative–prosperity and inequality.

One of those recent field trips included a boat tour of the Hudson River and East River, with a particular focus on issue of urban waterways, pollution, environmental conservation and human-nature systems. The trip included a tour up the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek, both notorious for their pollution and industrial activities. Prior to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Newtown Creek area of Greenpoint in Brooklyn was the worst toxic oil spill site in the country, having been home to some of the earliest industrial oil refining operations, as well as numerous other toxic business activities, including dry cleaning chemical processing and petroleum refining.

The toxic river tour was led by two New School faculty Jeni Wightman and Martina Kohler, both of whom teach at the Parsons School of Design. Below are a few highlight photos from their exploration of the New York waterways.

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Sherpa Anthropological Reflections – Pasang Sherpa

 

We’re excited to share recent reflections from our former Sacred Himalaya Initiative Postdoc Fellow Pasang Y. Sherpa on being a Sherpa Anthropologist. Dr. Sherpa writes:

“You become an anthropologist, when you publish,” we were told in a graduate anthropology seminar. If this is true, I became an anthropologist some time ago. But, a further question remains unanswered: what kind of anthropologist am I? I explore this question in three weekly blog posts this month. I look at the experience I have had (those “aha!” moments), the anthropological questions I ask (to myself and others), and the curiosities that (never cease to) motivate me.

Oh, high?

Two months ago, I walked into a gym in Arizona. I needed some motivation to get on the treadmill. I thought Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)” track would do it. It’s loud, fast, and strong, just like Beyonce. Suddenly, I heard Wendy at the front desk ask me, “How high do you take people?”

My friend was introducing me as a guest to Wendy. After learning that I am a real Sherpa, out of curiosity, she wanted to know about my skills on the mountains.

You can read the rest of her post, which is the first of three, at Savage Minds.

Book Launch: Learning from Shenzen w/ Jonathan Bach

LEARNING FROM SHENZEN: CHINA’S POST-MAO EXPERIMENT FROM SPECIAL ZONE TO MODEL CITY

Please join us on Wednesday evening, April 26th, for a reception celebrating the publication of Learning from Shenzhen: China’s Post-Mao Experiment from Special Zone to Model City, edited by Mary Ann O’Donnell, Winnie Wong, & Jonathan Bach (University of Chicago Press, 2017).

This multidisciplinary volume presents an account of China’s contemporary transformation via one of its most important yet overlooked cities: Shenzhen, located just north of Hong Kong. From an experimental site as the first of China’s special economic zones, Shenzhen is now a dominant city at the crossroads of the global economy, a UNESCO City of Design, and the hub of China’s emerging technology industries. A city of contradictions, it embodies the spatial and temporal intricacies of the contemporary urban experience. The book explores especially how urban villages and informal institutions enabled social transformation. Through cases of labor, architecture, gender, public health, politics, education, and more, this urban case study serves to explore critical problems for modern-day China and beyond.

The book just received prominent mention in the latest Economist magazine special feature on the Pearl River Delta.

Remarks by co-editor and author, Jonathan Bach, chair of the Global Studies Program (New School), Mark Frazier, Professor of Politics (New School), and special guest Na Fu, Luce Visiting Scholar in Urban Studies at Trinity College and head of the research department at the Shenzhen Center for Design.

Refreshments will be served and books will be available for purchase at a discount.

Sponsored by the interdisciplinary programs in Global Studies, Urban Studies, and Environmental Studies, the India China Institute, the department of Anthropology, and the Graduate Program in International Affairs.

 

RSVP HERE

BOOK LAUNCH: River Dialogues

We are excited to share a new publication from former ICI Postdoctoral Fellow Georgina Drew on Hinduism and the political ecology of dams in India. More details about her book can be found on the University of Arizona site.

“A remarkable book, combining rigorous analysis, original methodology, and insightful conclusions. Drew has woven the various arguments about damming the Ganges into an engaging narrative in this model of careful research and clear writing.”

—Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology
Pages: 1 2 3 7