The Institute in its thirty third year, continues to pursue its research in the area of contemporary relevance, moving from local to global and back to local concerns transversing in the heterogeneity of time and space.
Our research agenda focuses on the study of socio-cultural-economic realities of Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring areas. The research extends into the changing scenario of India and a de-territorialized global socio-cultural world. One of the thematic areas of research emerging in the Institute is around various kinds of marginalities produced by the traditional structures and the globalizing world.
Economic and Social Policies and strategies: The major concerns include agrarian structure, issues related to land, labour and employment; environment, disaster , poverty and climatic change; food security ; development related displacement and most importantly institutions and development. Other international concerns that are being addressed include Global governance, climate change and carbon markets.
Social policy concerns include population growth and resource constraints, which are of utmost importance to the most densely populated state of Uttar Pradesh; problem associated with ageing; intergenerational transmission of advantages and disadvantages of education , health and stamina; the inter-relationship of under nutrition , health and eco-systems; enlarging human choices: securing freedom, well-being and dignity for every human being; and gender and development issues.
Culture, Politics and Society: Concept of power, popular cultures , memory and past, orality and printed knowledge of Dalit, subaltern and other marginalised communities , local knowledge, structures and forms of subaltern cultural consciousness and linkage between cultural resources of the communities and process of development. Newly emerging public cultures, new turns in religious practices, mobile communities and moving images in globalised world, diasporic cultures, various forms of identity politics, cinema and media and relationship between politics, culture and state in colonial and contemporary India. Explorations of alternative public sphere, dissenting voices, social and political literature s, political of representations and emancipator and syncretic cultural forms.
Democratic Processes and Institutions: concept of justice in democratic processes, relationship between social justice and marginalities, govermentality, new modes of participatory governance, popular aspirations and new social movements, formation of civil societies, state, power and citizenship and public sphere as space of democratic deliberations of post colonial Indian society. Issues of human suffering , forced displacement and migration , human rights and women dignity in contemporary globalisation induced developmental democracy. Exploring democratic processes at work, in different contexts, at different levels and their consequents interplays, understanding inclusionary and exclusionary politics with respect to ethnic and religious identities, changing contours of domestic politics under the influence of international forces.