(Special reference to South Asia)

(February 5-6, 2018)

The relationship between the trinity State, Civil Society and the Market, is complex, blurred and negotiated. Very often, the State and the market are seen dichotomously and the relationship between the state and the civil society is seen as evolving. And, in the process, governance has become integral to political articulation and public policy. And institutions of governance are facing a challenge due to the complexity emanating from the interaction between the paradigm shift in the path of development, evolution of corresponding institutions, and shaping up of the diverse expectations. Correspondingly, the meaning of the politics of development has undergone a change, and the State is continuously reinventing itself. The post-colonial States at one level promote metropolitan regions, encourages FDI, influence investment flows, introduce user fees, withdraw subsidies, modify income support programmes, and alter the institutional structure. And, on the other, it has tried to moderate its impact on the people living on the margins and reinforced the significance of non-economic factors influencing the economic outcomes. The institutional arrangements and factors related to governance around health, education and social welfare are being seen as important factors that impact economic outcomes. As a result, at one level the State is aggressively implementing the corporate-led development model and, simultaneously, it is also creating a belief amongst the marginalised - poor, Dalits, tribal communities, minorities and women - that their needs will be met by newer ways of framing the development agenda. The institutional arrangements and factors related to governance are seen as important factors that impact economic outcomes. In fact, it is believed that the so-called free markets can only begin to work in particular institutional frameworks and will have broadly acceptable distributional outcomes where societies are not beset by high levels of social exclusion. It has been evident that development per se may not lead to equity and allocation of resources besides failing to transform the lives of the people living on the margins. There is, thus, a need to debate as to how to reframe the policies to build capacity of the people on the margins and create conditions to enable them to get integrated into the productive processes. And, as an outcome, they are likely to gain access to the assets, livelihood, jobs, and investment.

Historically, poverty eradication framework has not paid much attention to the role of institutions of caste, religion, family, kinship which have potential for both perpetuating the inequalities and promoting equity. It is important, therefore, to locate the margins in the social institutions like, caste, race, class, family, kinship, etc., that act as levellers, and also stoke up inequalities. The role of these institutions in legitimising the allocation of resources, ownership of assets, access to the means of production, and knowledge have to be captured and analysed.

The governance for the margins has to be located in the contesting claims and rights of the collectives and its individual members in emerging identities in competition and conflict with the hegemonic identities and their appropriation in politics. As such, unequal outcomes of this may act as toxic to the various faultlines leading to widespread divisiveness. To illustrate, in the Indian context, most relevant question arises, as to why is the Scheduled Caste population more deprived in terms of access to land, education, and health as compared to the non-Scheduled Castes? Why are the women and children from the poor families more deprived in terms of access to the gains of development, social security and safety nets? This dialogue may help us in capturing and understanding the variations across South-Asia relating to unequal access and the tensions between the rights granted in the legal statues, norms legitimised by the social institutions, and the governmentality imbued with patriarchal and colonial administrative-authoritative mindsets. These tensions may have to be contextualised in terms of realisation of the claims, entitlements and rights for the margins in South Asian countries.

The State conferred citizenship on the subjects in a formal sense, but its substance in many ways provided continuity to some of the retrograde practices.

In other words, the substance of citizenship is related to the evolution of the State. The State continues to rely on the processes and procedures treating the citizens in differential categories. The perpetuation of these practices made the whole conception of citizenship as "deficient". As has been established in the literature, the boundaries of citizenship are dynamic in nature and evolve historically. At the same time, it is not to overlook the fact that it is inherent in the nature of the state to interact with the citizens as subjects. But, a crucial distinction to be noted is that freedom and autonomy conferred on the citizens varies from subjects to subjects in democratic and egalitarian societies. The empirical evidences have surfaced from both transitional and developed societies in relation to the immigrants and the locals.

Their status as foreigners provides the immigrants limited rights to access the job market, social welfare and other public services. In adverse economic conditions or during times of economic crisis, the immigrants are the first to lose jobs, and access to other economic resources. This may happen despite the fact that the immigrants often take up 3D jobs to sustain local labour markets. On the other hand, certain citizens from a country may use emigration in various forms- permanent, temporary or clandestine- as a livelihood strategy to overcome their limited participation in the development process in the domestic economy, though their ability to do so may be limited by various constraints. Networks, inter-personal ties and non-state actors may be important in facilitating migration as well as participation in the labour market of the host societies.

The purpose of the proposed conference is to explore such deeper questions and, at the same time, also locate the pathways, best practices and pragmatic lessons to address the deep social and economic fissures that confront many developing economies, especially the South-Asian countries. The proposed international interaction would bring together the experts to debate the dynamics of political economy and public policy alternatives for the margins with special reference to South-Asia. The issues emerging in the domain of governance from the practice of democracy and engagements of margins with their contesting claims of inclusion have to be contextualised and conceptualised. The conference will also investigate the changing contours of "margins" and its implications for the policy formations.


  • State, Market and Civil Society Interaction: Country-Specific Focus Changing Nature of the Policy Discourse
  • Culturally Relevant Frameworks and Methodologies for Governances of the Margins
  • Role of Policy for the Marginalised in the Globalised Third World Market Economies: Boundaries and Influence
  • Policy Innovations for Inclusion of Margins
  • Dichotomy Between Policy and Implementation: Myth and Reality? (How can we identify a policy stance? Are the policies neutral? Do the policy designs predict outcomes? Do the institutions and contexts matter for the outcomes? Are they determining or just differentiating?)
  • What Are the Margins?: The Fixity and Fluidity in National Context
  • Issues for Governance As Emerging From the Practice of Democracy
  • Governance for Crisis Management in Societies in Turmoil
  • Politics of Inclusions in Neo-Liberal Democracies: Contesting Claims And Aspirations
  • Immigration, Nationalism and Crisis of Neo-Liberal Economy
  • Exclusion and Emigration, or emigration as a response to differential developmental outcomes.
  • Capturing Religio-Cultural Identity Discourses in South Asian Societies
  • Representation of Margins in Media


We invite papers that address related to one or several of the above mentioned themes. The proposals should consist of an abstract of 400 words that clearly outlines the research questions, methodological approach, and relevance to the topic.

Proposals should be submitted to by 30th November, 2017 for review.

Authors of accepted papers will be notified by 25th December, 2017. Full papers are due by 1st January, 2018.


Date of the Conference: 5-6 February, 2018

Last date for abstract submission: 30th November, 2017

Acceptance notification: 25th December, 2017.

Last date for full paper submission: 1st January, 2018.


India INR 3,500/-

Delegates from outside India USD 200/-

The fee for the conference includes payment towards a registration, conference kit, a modest accommodation for three nights (4th February to 7th February, 2018) and Lunch for 5th and 6th February, 2018.

No registration fees for selected Research Scholars and students.

Registration fee may be paid by way of NEFT/RTGS Transfer or Demand draft (DD) or local cheques in favour of:
Name: Institute for Development and Communication
Account No. 1462500100048301
Bank: Karnataka Bank Limited
Branch: Sector 22C, Chandigarh, India

Prof. Pramod Kumar
Director, Institute for Development and Communication (IDC)
Sector 38A, Chandigarh, India

Prof. Ronki Ram
Professor Bhagat Singh Chair,
Department of Political Science,
Panjab University
Chandigarh, India.

Organising Committee

  • Prof. Pramod Kumar, Director, Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), Chandigarh, India. E-mail:
  • Prof. Ronki Ram, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chair Professor, Department of Political Science, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. E-mail:
  • Prof. R.S. Bawa, Vice Chancellor, Chandigarh University, Mohali, India. E-mail:
  • Prof. Ramanjit Johal, Director, Research Promotion Cell and Professor (Public Administration), Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. E-mail:
  • Prof. Gurdeep Singh Batra, Dean (Research), Punjabi University, Patiala, India. E-mail:
  • Prof. H.S. Shergill, Director (Research), Development Studies Unit, Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), Chandigarh, India. E-mail:
  • Prof. Rainuka Dagar, Director (Research), Gender Studies Unit, Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), Chandigarh, India. E-mail:

Sub Theme

Negotiating politics, identity
and practice for delivery of rights

Organised by :

Institute for
Development and
(IDC), Chandigarh, India.

In association with :

Research Promotion Cell,
Panjab University,
Chandigarh, India.

Dean (Research),
Punjabi University,
Patiala, India.

Chandigarh University,
Mohali, India.

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