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International Conference on Regional Political Economy

Dates: January 6 & 7, 2017

Venue: Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), 16th Cross Rd, Sadashiva Nagar, Armane Nagar, Bengaluru


We are pleased to invite you to the second Azim Premji University conference on Regional Political Economy. Social scientists have often argued that standard academic practice tends to privilege the nation-state or federal unit as the unit of analysis in the generation of historical, political, or economic understanding. Our conference begins with the premise that such approaches tend to obscure or elide real and vital processes that occur at the sub-national, regional or inter-regional level.

This international conference, scheduled for January 6th-7th, 2017 will address several of the emergent challenges in the study of regional political economy through a multi-disciplinary and multi-analytic approach. The conference will systematically interrogate some of the theoretical and methodological issues that undergird the study of regional political economy. More specifically, we hope to expand our understanding of both the conceptual basis for the ‘region’ in ‘regional’ political economy as well as the methodological alternatives appropriate for explaining regional outcomes. We hope to frame these issues drawing from disciplinary perspectives such as history, anthropology, economics, and political science. These broad conceptual and methodological concerns will be explored in India-specific and other panels. In effect this workshop aims to contribute to an improved understanding of regional political economy through both theory development as well as an empirical examination of local variations.

In the South Asian context, for example the rise of ‘provincial propertied classes’ in various states and their transformation of the political economy of that state, the vital historical political economy of the Indian Ocean and the ways in which international diasporas continue to impact local markets, or the ways in farmers movements across a region of the North transformed socio-political relationships all constitute examples of processes that require a more sensitive and careful analysis than is currently available. Furthermore states, regional and inter-regional and international processes are often the loci of the most important and vigorous political and institutional experimentation.

In politics, the new forms of political mobilization in various states and their transformation of the political economy of that state, the changing bases of both regional and national political parties, party system(s), as well as public opinion, variation in the structures of political institutions across regions, their capacity to implement national and/or regional goals have significant implications for socio-economic relationships.

Building the story of the nation or the overall region from the regional perspective and from regional comparative studies is a potentially useful and under-utilized approach.

> View Next: Regional Political Economy (Jan 9 & 10, 2016)