Tag Archives: State

Engind

Today, the engineering profession, more than any other, seems to embody the transformations which affect contemporary India. It simultaneously symbolizes the rise of the hypothetical « middle classes » and the positioning of India as an emerging power in the international job market, since the country has become one of the preferred destinations of large technological firms. Each year, India awards 3,50,000 engineering degrees. Continue reading

Panel, ECSAS Warsaw 2016 : Technology, technicians and the state in South Asia

ECSAS logoEuropean Conference on South Asian Studies, Warsaw, 27-30th July 2016

Technology, technicians and the state in South Asia: political and social uses of technical knowledge

Convenors : Vanessa Caru (CNRS) & Bérénice Girard (EHESS Paris)

This panel invites reflexions and case studies on the political and social uses of technology in South Asia. Technology is here understood in an extensive manner to include different types of technical knowledge, practices and tools. The centrality of technology in government policies has been widely discussed in contemporary research. This panel would like to discuss this centrality while adopting a historical perspective on the evolving political use of technology and a specific focus on South Asia.

In the years following Independence, technology was conceived as a central tool to further the economic development and social policies of South Asian countries, and technical elites were offered important roles in the implementation of technocratic development programs. The present context of liberalisation and redefinition of the role of the State seems however to have brought both new uses and actors, as well as changes in the modes of interaction between States and technologies. We invite papers discussing this dynamic, and especially welcome case studies focusing on the specific use and place of technology in social policies. We further invite papers looking at processes of defining politically pertinent technologies, as well as detailed papers on the interaction and relationship between the different technical professional groups and the State. Finally, we also invite reflexions and case studies on how technology affects States’ prerogatives, balances of power and control over political territories and spaces in South Asia.

Papers : 

Stefan Tetzlaff (EHESS-CNRS, Paris), State Policy, Technical Knowledge and Manpower Requirements: The Case of the Automobile Industry and its Workforce in India After Independence (c. 1947-2010)

Champaka Rajagopal (University of Amsterdam), The State’s Attributes of a Firm? Combining Welfare and Growth Goals: Regional Infrastructure PPP Projects in India

Klara Feldes (Humboldt University Berlin), Technology in the nexus of ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’- the example of the Indian River Interlinking Project 

Shivani Kapoor (Jawaharlal Nehru University), ‘Something Smells Bad’ – Caste, Technology and Leatherwork in India

More infos on the panel available here

Programme of the conference available here

Call for Papers : Technology, technicians and the state in South Asia, political and social uses of technical knowledge

Technology, technicians and the state in South Asia: political and social uses of technical knowledge

The 24th ECSAS (European Conference on South Asian Studies) will take place at the University of Warsaw (Poland) from 27 to 30 July 2016.

Conveners

Berenice Girard (EHESS Paris) email
Vanessa Caru (CNRS ) email
Mail All Convenors

Short Abstract

This panel invites reflexions and case studies on the political and social uses of technology in South Asia, to discuss its centrality in government policies. Technology is here understood in an extensive manner, to include different types of technical knowledge, practices and tools.

Long Abstract

This panel invites reflexions and case studies on the political and social uses of technology in South Asia. Technology is here understood in an extensive manner to include different types of technical knowledge, practices and tools. The centrality of technology in government policies has been widely discussed in contemporary research. This panel would like to discuss this centrality while adopting a historical perspective on the evolving political use of technology and a specific focus on South Asia.

In the years following Independence, technology was conceived as a central tool to further the economic development and social policies of South Asian countries, and technical elites were offered important roles in the implementation of technocratic development programs. The present context of liberalisation and redefinition of the role of the State seems however to have brought both new uses and actors, as well as changes in the modes of interaction between States and technologies. We invite papers discussing this dynamic, and especially welcome case studies focusing on the specific use and place of technology in social policies. We further invite papers looking at processes of defining politically pertinent technologies, as well as detailed papers on the interaction and relationship between the different technical professional groups and the State. Finally, we also invite reflexions and case studies on how technology affects States’ prerogatives, balances of power and control over political territories and spaces in South Asia.

Propose paper

Book: Roads, an anthropology of infrastructure and expertise

80140100865490M

Roads, An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise

Penny Harvey, Hannah Knox

Cornell University Press : http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100865490.

Roads matter to people. This claim is central to the work of Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox, who in this book use the example of highway building in South America to explore what large public infrastructural projects can tell us about contemporary state formation, social relations, and emerging political economies.

Roads focuses on two main sites: the interoceanic highway currently under construction between Brazil and Peru, a major public/private collaboration that is being realized within new, internationally ratified regulatory standards; and a recently completed one-hundred-kilometer stretch of highway between Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon, and a small town called Nauta, one of the earliest colonial settlements in the Amazon. The Iquitos-Nauta highway is one of the most expensive roads per kilometer on the planet.

Combining ethnographic and historical research, Harvey and Knox shed light on the work of engineers and scientists, bureaucrats and construction company officials. They describe how local populations anticipated each of the road projects, even getting deeply involved in questions of exact routing as worries arose that the road would benefit some more than others. Connectivity was a key recurring theme as people imagined the prosperity that will come by being connected to other parts of the country and with other parts of the world. Sweeping in scope and conceptually ambitious, Roads tells a story of global flows of money, goods, and people—and of attempts to stabilize inherently unstable physical and social environments.

Book : Impossible Engineering

k8911Impossible Engineering: Technology and Territoriality on the Canal du Midi

Chandra Mukerji

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8911.html

The Canal du Midi, which threads through southwestern France and links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, was an astonishing feat of seventeenth-century engineering–in fact, it was technically impossible according to the standards of its day. Impossible Engineering takes an insightful and entertaining look at the mystery of its success as well as the canal’s surprising political significance. The waterway was a marvel that connected modern state power to human control of nature just as surely as it linked the ocean to the sea. Continue reading

Book : Engineers and the Making of Francoist Regime

 In this book, Lino Camprubí argues that  science and technology were at the very center of the building of Franco’s Spain. Previous histories of early Francoist science and technology have described scientists and engineers as working “under” Francoism, subject to censorship and bound by politically mandated research agendas. Camprubí offers a different perspective, considering instead scientists’ and engineers’ active roles in producing those political mandates. Many scientists and engineers had been exiled, imprisoned, or executed by the regime. Camprubí argues that those who remained made concrete the mission of “redemption” that Franco had invented for himself. This gave them the opportunity to become key actors—and mid-level decision makers—within the regime.

Camprubí describes a series of projects across Spain undertaken by the civil engineers and agricultural scientists who placed themselves at the center of their country’s forced modernization. These include a coal silo, built in 1953, viewed as an embodiment of Spain’s industrialized landscape; links between laboratories, architects, and the national Catholic church (and between technology and authoritarian control); vertically organized rice production and research on genetics; river management and the contested meanings of self-sufficiency; and the circulation of construction standards by mobile laboratories as an engine for European integration. Separately, each chapter offers a fascinating microhistory that illustrates the coevolution of Francoist science, technology, and politics. Taken together, they reveal networks of people, institutions, knowledge, artifacts, and technological systems woven together to form a new state.

http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/engineers-and-making-francoist-regime

New Issue Feb 2014 Seminar Magazine : State of Science

  • THE PROBLEM
    Posed by Dhruv Raina, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

  • SCIENCE, NATIONALISM AND THE STATE
    Benjamin Zachariah, Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies, University of Heidlherg

  • THE PUBLIC LIFE OF EXPERTISE
    Shiju Sam Varughese
    Centre for Studies in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, School of Social Sciences, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar Continue reading

Publication: Consulting Engineers

 Odile Henry, Les guérisseurs de l’économie. Socio-genèse du métier de consultant (1900-1944), Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2012

“Véritables « médecins des affaires », les ingénieurs-conseils évaluent l’état de santé d’entreprises privées comme d’institutions publiques, et proposent des « thérapies » visant à corriger les dysfonctionnements constatés. Mais derrière leur prétention scientifique à l’objectivité, ces diagnostics et remèdes sont autant d’affirmations normatives sur le monde économique. Mis en oeuvre par les dirigeants, ils deviennent même constitutifs des réalités sociales.

À travers une histoire structurale de la profession de consultant et une analyse de l’émergence du management, Odile Henry nous emmène donc au coeur de l’incessant processus de production symbolique et idéologique de l’ordre social.

Placée, dès le début du xxe siècle, au centre de rivalités entre État et domaine civil, imprégnée de saint-simonisme, nourrie des apports conflictuels du taylorisme et de la doctrine administrative, la profession est l’objet d’âpres luttes d’influence. Elle trouve ensuite, dans le régime de Vichy et son nouvel ordre juridique, un « nouvel espace des possibles », éclairant le rôle décisif de l’État dans la constitution de son autorité.

Un grand ouvrage de sociologie historique.”

Book review:

Marc Mousli, “Les guérisseurs de l’économie. Ingénieurs-conseils en quête de pouvoir”Alternatives Économiques, n°319, 2012

 

Publication: The General Review of Public Policies in France

Odile Henry, Frédéric Pierru (ed.), « Le conseil de l’État (2) – Le “moment RGPP” », Actes de la Recherche en sciences sociales, n°194, Septembre 2012

Contents :

Les sommets très privés de l’État
Le « Club des acteurs de la modernisation » et l’hybridation des élites
Julie Gervais

« On n’y comprend rien »
Des salariés européens face à l’action des cabinets de conseil dans la réforme de l’audiovisuel public
Pierre-Emmanuel Sorignet

Le mandarin, le gestionnaire et le consultant
Le tournant néolibéral de la politique hospitalière
Frédéric Pierru

Les syndicats et l’expertise en risques psychosociaux
Note de recherche sur les années noires du management à France Télécom Orange
Odile Henry

Les comptes des générations
Les valeurs du futur et la transformation de l’État social
Yann Le Lann et Benjamin Lemoine

Hors thème :

Transformations morphologiques et mobilisations disciplinaires
Les enseignants et étudiants de l’Institut d’anglais de la Sorbonne en 1968
Christophe Gaubert et Marie-Pierre Pouly

Online version available here

Publication: Private Expertise and the State

Odile Henry, Frédéric Pierru (ed.), « Le conseil de l’État (1) – Expertise Privée et Réformes des Services Publics », Actes de la Recherche en sciences sociales, n°193, Juin 2012

Contents:

Les consultants et la réforme des services publics
Odile Henry et Frédéric Pierru

Etat, experts et savoirs néo-managériaux
Les producteurs et diffuseurs du New Public Management en France depuis les années 1970
Philippe Bezes

Un entrepreneur de réforme de l’Etat : Henri Fayol (1841-1925)
Odile Henry

Du grand soir au clair obscur
Expertise économique et privatisation bureaucratique de l’assurance maladie
Daniel Benamouzig

Du militant au manager
La trajectoire d’un syndicaliste au sein d’une entreprise publique
Sylvain Thine

Expertise, politiques publiques et économie créative : le cas britanique
Philip Schlesinger

Hors thèmes :

L’économie symbolique du capital social: Notes pour un programme de recherche
Bruno Cousin et Sébastien Chauvin

 Online version avaialable here

Book: Telecommunications Industry in India

Dilip Subramanian, Telecommunication Industry in India. State, Business and Labour in a Globa Economy, New Delhi: Social Sciences Press, 2010.

“Telecommunications Industry in India represents the first comprehensive study of a state-run enterprise in the telecommunications industry. The study traces over a period of half a century (1948-2009) the growth and decline of Indian Telephone Industries (ITI). At the heart of the monograph stands one central interrogation: How does the socio-technical system of production in a state-controlled firm shape the relations linking the four main actors: the state, management, union and workers?

The original contribution of this book lies in combining business history and labour history within a single conceptual framework. The author evaluates the broader conclusions about the telecommunications industry and public sector through the lens of an individual firm to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the dynamics of change in the globalizing Indian economy.

The work is well in command of the literature on the global business history counterparts of ITI in the telecommunications industry. It is further strengthened by the use of French material on the subject which is now accessible for the first time in English.”

Dilip Subramanian is Associate Professor at the Reims Management School and is affiliated to the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1. The Construction of a Monopoly
Chapter 2. The History and Politics of Technological Change
Chapter 3. The Burden of Monopoly and State Regulation
Chapter 4. The Advent of Competition: Fallout of Global Telecommunications Deregulation
Chapter 5. Market Forces in Full Play: Management Gains or Losses for Labour?
Chapter 6. Spheres of Practice: An Ethnography of Printed Circuit Board Assembly Work
Chapter 7. Workers and Independent Unionism
Chapter 8. Rank-and-File Challenge to Union and Management Authority
Chapter 9. Passions of Language and Caste

Conclusion

Epilogue

Index

Book Reviews:

David Picherit, « Dilip Subramanian, Telecommunications Industry in India: State, Business and Labour in a Global Economy », South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal [Online], Book Reviews , Online since 11 octobre 2011, Connection on 16 décembre 2011. URL : http://samaj.revues.org/index3146.html

Djallal Heuzé, « Inde : l’agonie des télécoms », La Vie des idées, 13 juillet 2011. ISSN : 2105-3030. URL : http://www.laviedesidees.fr/Inde-l-agonie-des-telecoms.html

 

Book: Education in India

Joachim Oesterheld and Krishna Kumar, Education and Social Change in South Asia, Hyderabad, Orient Blackswan, 2006.

“Today education is a key factor for further development of most of the countries in South Asia, which after decades of independence are still lacking in literacy. The book focuses on the relationship between the state and society of South Asian countries, especially in the field of primary education. After dealing with developments under colonial rule, the major part of the contributions is devoted to the educational policy in South Asian countries post-independence. The papers reveal the relevance and crucial role of culture, religion, and ethnicity for imparting basic education on a nation-wide scale. Taking into consideration the complexity of societies of South Asian countries, the book looks at the social and political implications arising out of the educational policy of the state for the process of nation building. The book is a specific contribution from a South Asian context to the ongoing debate about the relevance of language, culture, and religion in the educational policy of a majority population and its impact on minority communities.”