Abstract: During the colonial era, the new industrial and commercial economy was completely dominated by very small bania communities that converted their trading expertise into modern industrial entrepreneurship. While the industrial economy grew very substantially during the decades of License raj, the community based pattern of control and employment within the private sector did not change. Liberalization made the Indian economy vastly more dynamic but did it also transform the social basis of the private sector? Did a more open market open opportunities for new groups and categories of people? Is there evidence that the much heralded vikas of a new India is creating a more inclusive India with fewer barriers to social mobility? Does capitalism transform Indian society as it did other societies? Or are the patterns of the Indian economy merely consolidating the existing distribution of opportunities, capital and employment?
About the Speaker: Thomas Hansen is the Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor in South Asian Studies and Professor in Anthropology. He is also the Director of Stanford’s Center for South Asia where he is charged with building a substantial new program. He has many and broad interests spanning South Asia and Southern Africa, several cities and multiple theoretical and disciplinary interests from political theory and continental philosophy to psychoanalysis, comparative religion and contemporary urbanism. Prof. Thomas Hansen is presently Visiting Professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Bombay.
He is the author of The Saffron Wave. Democracy and Hindu nationalism in modern India (Princeton University Press 1999); Wages of Violence. Naming and identity in postcolonial Bombay (Princeton University Press 2001); Cool Passion. The Political Theology of Modern Convictions (Amsterdam University Press 2009) and Melancholia of Freedom. Social Life in an Indian Township in South Africa. (Princeton University Press 2012) plus more than fifty peer reviewed articles and book chapters.
He is also the co-editor of several edited volumes and special issues, among them States of Imagination. Ethnographic Explorations of the Postcolonial State (with F. Stepputat) (Duke University Press 2001) and Sovereign Bodies. Citizens, Migrants and States in the Postcolonial World (with F. Stepputat) (Princeton University Press 2005), and BJP and the Compulsions of Politics (with Christophe Jaffrelot)(Oxford University Press)
Hansen is also the editor of “South Asia in Motion”, a new book series from Stanford University Press. Before coming to Stanford, professor Hansen held faculty positions at Yale University, University of Edinburgh, University of Amsterdam and Roskilde University (Denmark)