Lecture by Dr. Naynika Mathur (University of Oxford, UK)
The lecture, by Dr. Nayanika Mathur (University of Oxford, UK), presents an ethnography of the developmental Indian state through a methodological grounding in the everyday life of law and bureaucracy. It asks a question that has bewildered students of the global South and development for a long time: Why do well-intentioned and carefully drawn up plans, laws, and policies not produce the desired results? Drawing on over a decade’s research with the welfare state in India, this lecture presents an answer through an anthropological study of the state, law, and bureaucracy. Presenting in a brief form the main arguments and method-ological moorings of the recently-published monograph, Paper Tiger (Cambridge University Press, 2016), the talk begins by asking how might one capture the banality of bureaucracy and the life of law in its execution through anthropological means? It goes on to describe one particular modality through which we can ethnographically capture the developmental state as well as demonstrate its effects. Ultimately, this lecture argues that we need to, firstly, re-think what the state is in practice. Subsequent to this shift in our comprehension of what the state is and how it makes its results manifest, we might arrive at an alternate understanding of why progressive laws, policies, and programs in India continue to flounder with a startling regularity.
The lecture and the corresponding workshop "Studying the State: Anthropological Approaches" were organised by Sara Abbas.
13.11.2017 | 18:00 - 20:00
Freie Universität Berlin
Seminarzentrum - Room L 116
Habelschwerdter Allee 45