Joël Cabalion is researcher in sociology and anthropology at the CSH. He holds a PhD in sociology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) as well as a Bachelor in Hindi from the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris. Before joining CSH, Joël Cabalion was recruited as an Associate Professor in sociology and anthropology at the University of Tours in France and remains associated to the research unit Cité Territoires Environnement et Sociétés (CITERES) as well as to the Centre d’Etudes de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CEIAS).

His research focuses since 2004 on issues of displacement and resettlement in the context of large infrastructural works in Central India, grounded in a longitudinal and ethnographic perspective using both quantitative and qualitative methods. He is developing his analysis further in a monograph expanding the scope of work to the state of Maharashtra to outline the cultural and social history of dispossession around large dams, informed by his contemporary sociological analysis of the current regimes of dispossession as well as main social movements attempting to alter their course. Joël’s work in rural Maharashtra and has also taken a specific turn with an interest for cultural goods of resistance such as with the genesis of ambedkarite songs of emancipation (Bhim geet, prabodhan and vidrohit jalsa), a project on which he writes in collaboration with the anthropologist Julien Jugand.

Alongside his works in India, Joël Cabalion has also co-produced a monograph in France with his colleagues Alex Alber and Valérie Cohen from the University of Tours. They studied the first of its kind “centre of deradicalization” that France had opened in 2016-2017 in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in November 2015 in Paris and published a book on this experience, titled Un Impossible travail de déradicalisation (Erès 2020).

Joël is starting a new research project in India on forest as well as wildlife professionals to grasp the construction of environmental issues and stakes from the perspective of the State and main institutional hubs contributing to the demarcation of nature in India.

Recent publications

  • Cabalion, Joël. 2024. “Enjeux et défis du Kisan Andolan, mouvement social de 2020-21”, Lundimatin. February 19.
  • Cabalion, Joël, and Julien Jugand. 2023. “Bhim Geet and the Ambedkarite Movement: The Genesis of a Cultural Field of Protest.” South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal 31.
  • Cabalion Joël. 2023. Review Charles Gadéa, Roland Lardinois (dir.). “Les mondes de l’ingénieur en Inde (xixe-xxie siècle)”, Artefact, OpenEdition, 18 June.
  • Cabalion Joël, Fabrice Flipo. ed. 2023. L’Inde des sciences sociales”. Aux forges de Vulcain, 26 Mai.
  • Alber Alex, Cabalion Joël and Cohen Valérie. 2022. “Récit d’une enquête sur le premier centre public de lutte contre la « radicalisation »”, in L’enquête en danger (éds. Philippe Aldrin, Pierre Fournier, Vincent Geisser et Yves Mirman), Armand Colin, January.

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