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An anthropological investigation of muscular politics in South Asia

Objective

Over the past decade, the media, international organisations, as well as policy-making bodies have voiced increasing concern about a growing overlap between the criminal and political spheres in South Asia. Many 'criminal politicians' are accused not simply of embezzlement, but of burglary, kidnapping and murder, so that the observed political landscape emerges not only as a 'corrupt', but also a highly violent sphere. This project is a collaborative and cross-national ethnographic study of the criminalisation of politics in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Bringing together local-level investigation, surveys and historical analysis, the project will produce comprehensive political ethnographies in sixteen sites across the subcontinent, providing empirical material and theoretical directives for further charting of the virtually unexplored terrain of extra-legal muscular politics in the region. Central to the proposed programme of research are the following interrelated objectives: 1) To further develop the method of collaborative political ethnography by designing, collecting and producing case studies which will allow us to write thematically across sites; 2) To generate policy relevant research in the fields of security, conflict, democracy and development; 3) To produce capability by forging an international network of scholars on issues related to democratisation, violence, crime and support the work and careers of the project's 4 Post-docs. The study capitalises on previous research and skills of the PI in the cross-cultural study of democracy and muscular politics in the global South. All members of the research team have expertise in ethnographic research in the difficult spheres of criminal politics, informal economies, and political violence and are hence well and sometimes uniquely equipped to pursue this challenging research thematic.

Call for proposal

ERC-2011-StG_20101124
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Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 992 058,64
Principal investigator
Lucia Michelutti (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Greta Borg-Carbott (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (4)

UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 992 058,64
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Lucia Michelutti (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Greta Borg-Carbott (Ms.)
THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 77 157,36
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Linda Pialek (Ms.)
CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF DEVELOPING SOCIETIES
India
EU contribution
€ 39 942
Address
Rajpur Road 29
110054 Delhi
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Sanjay Kumar (Prof.)
The Mistress Fellows and Scholars of Girton College in the University of Cambridge
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 90 842
Address
Huntingdon Road
CB3 0JG Cambridge
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Deborah Lowther (Ms.)