ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Special IssuesSubscribe to Special Issues

Introduction

This collection of papers discusses in detail the role of disease epidemics in south Asian history. The available historiography is assessed critically as also complex ideas about the identification of the origins of diseases and their geographical spread in numerous forms.

Black Fever in Bihar: Experiences and Responses

This is an investigation into how serious the kala-azar (visceral leishmaniasis) situation was in colonial Bihar, what the government's policy was to control it and how the people responded to it. Until 1903, medical men had little idea about the true nature of this disease, which spread rapidly in the wake of the opening up of communication by rail and road. British medical intervention against kala-azar succeeded only in 1919 with the introduction of the antimony treatment. Till then, and after, the powers that be failed to prevent and eradicate the disease, with a lack of qualified personnel, funds, treatment centres, sanitary measures and, above all, political will hampering whatever modest efforts were made.

An Overview

An overview of the main recommendations of the Fourth Review Committee of the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

Social Science Research in India: Concerns and Proposals

The ICSSR is not responsible for the torpidity of social science research in India. Viewed from a perspective on research in economics, this article identifies two concerns (the inability to speak truth to power and the lack of autonomy) and makes three proposals (on apprenticeship, rank and leadership of institutions).

New Agendas for Social Science Research

The last 20 years have witnessed an extraordinary proliferation of "big questions" as the older certitudes have broken down one by one. Whether it be the nature of development, the structure of politics or the rise of new kinds of social identities, recent events are making it evident that the social sciences are as yet unable to adequately interpret contemporary history. The issue then is one that almost never gets addressed: How do we turn events and questions into a meaningful and researchable agenda?

A View from Abroad

The report of the Fourth Review Committee of the ICSSR deserves admiration because it is a unique document. In addition to providing an historical context, it offers an insightful and sympathetic analysis of the ICSSR that is as sensitive and searching as it is constructive. A perspective from a member of the Economic and Social Research Council of the United Kingdom.

Declining Simplistic Narratives

New castes and classes have entered the academy in recent years, but we have few suggestions for constructive engagement with the new groups coming into the academy. There has been the intergenerational change as well, which has had its own impact. We need to address these issues if we are to understand the state of social sciences. We need above all to cultivate a critical self-reflexivity - an awareness of who "we" are and where we stand when asking and answering such questions.

Autonomy and Ideology

The nature, quality and scope of social science research in India have fallen short of expectations. How can we have free and informed discussion in social sciences and humanities?

The Near Future of Social Science Research in India

It is important to make the ICSSR truly autonomous, but the question is whether the Review Committee's detailed plan for autonomy is desirable and feasible. One could also consider alternative plans to the committee's proposals for introducing accountability in the research institutions.

Continuity or Change? Finance Capital in Developing Countries a Decade after the Asian Crisis

Ten years after the east Asian crisis, the volume of capital flows to developing countries has exploded, but has vulnerability to crises been reduced because of the prudence built into the financial system? On the contrary, we are in fact witnessing trends, which imply an increase in financial fragility that can lead to further crises, with extremely adverse implications for growth, stability, employment and social welfare. New measures to govern finance and financial flows are a necessity.

Adjustment, Recovery and Growth: A Consideration of Five 'Crisis' Countries of East Asia

In this paper, the post-crisis experience of the five economies of Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines is considered. It is found that while output growth has recovered to varying degrees, in all these countries there has been a significant change in the pattern of growth and investment, which has meant that the subsequent growth has had very different implications for employment generation, compared to the previous period.

The End of Developmental Citizenship? Restructuring and Social Displacement in Post-Crisis South Korea

Until 1997, successive governments of South Korea had pursued "developmental citizenship" - industrialisation at a pace that created jobs and raised incomes, even if social security benefits were minimum. The late 1990s crisis ended all that: the South Korean economy has recovered and is growing strongly but the quality of life has not. Temporary and underpaid jobs have become normal and on-the-job poverty has increased sharply. Income inequality has worsened and the population under the official poverty line has sharply increased in number and as a proportion of the population.

Pages

Back to Top