On-Going Projects

Taking stock of electoral innovations at the local level, 1993-2023: In India’s federalism, local elections are a state subject, therefore the rules governing local elections may vary from one state to another. While there is no doubt that several political experiments have taken place regarding local elections, we know very little about them because these innovations are highly dispersed across Indian states; they are sometimes short-lived; and they most often go under the radar of national news media. This project aims at (i) documenting the electoral reform process in seven major Indian states, characterized by the great diversity of objectives, procedural paths, and actors involved; and (ii) mapping the different conceptions of political representation that underlie, implicitly or explicitly, the many reforms.

Co-funded by the Max Weber Forum, South Asia, and the LabEx TEPSIS, this project has been implemented at CSH since 2022. A dataset of amendments to the Panchayati Raj Act and the Municipalities Act in each state was built; seven field trips were done in order to conduct a series of interviews in each state under study; and a dataset of court cases around local electoral reforms is currently under construction.

Head researcher: Stéphanie Tawa Lama.

Research assistant: Deshdeep Dhankhar

This project, led by the CSH, has been selected by the “Women and Science” Chair of the University of Paris Dauphine-PSL. Led by Prof Odile Henry (CSH and University of Paris 8), the project is being conducted by Prof Pradeep Kumar Choudhury (Assistant Professor of Economics, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, JNU, Delhi), Prof Seema Singh (Associate Professor in Economics & Head, Department of Humanities, Delhi Technological University, Delhi) and Dr Aprajita Sarcar, postdoctoral researcher at the Laureate Centre for History and Population, University of New South Wales, Australia and Associate Researcher at the CSH).
Head researcher involved: Prof. Odile Henry

Palanpur Survey 2022: Palanpur surveys are a unique example of the inter-disciplinary nature of social sciences at the CSH. Palanpur is a small village in Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh and has been surveyed every decade since independence starting from 1950s. The last two surveys of the village in 2008-10 and 2015 were organised with CSH as the base. Both research projects were funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and hosted jointly with the London School of Economics. It was a collaborative research project with research scholars from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Indian Statistical Institute and Ambedkar University, Delhi. Since 2007, CSH has been the physical and intellectual base of the surveys with another survey organised in 2022.
Head researcher involved: Himanshu