Modern South Asian Studies Seminar: MT19: Week 3: Centralisation and nationalism in the making of Indian capitalism

Conveners: Imre Bangha, Nayanika Mathur, Matthew McCartney, Polly O’Hanlon, Kate Sullivan de Estrada, and David Washbrook

Speaker: Pritam Singh (Wolfson, Oxford)

Abstract: Centralisation has been the defining characteristic of the Indian state's politico-economic policy objective irrespective of the political party in power at the federal/central level.  This centralisation was viewed as a critical necessity to the making of unified Indian nationhood out of the existing diversities. Centralisation and nationalism reinforcing each other have shaped the economic policy paradigm in the making of Indian capitalism in different phases in the post-colonial period though the forms of that centralising nationalism have changed. This centralising nationalism as a political-economic regulatory framework suffers from internal and external vulnerabilities.



Professor Pritam Singh who is currently a Visiting Scholar at Wolfson College, Oxford, took his DPhil from Oriel College, Oxford. He has taught Economics at Delhi University; Panjab University, Chandigarh, Oxford Brookes Business School and Oxford School of Global and Area Studies at Oxford University. He was a Visiting Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi in 2009, at Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2013 and at the University of Uberlandia, Brazil in 2018. On retirement from Oxford Brookes University, he was awarded the Distinguished Professor Emeritus status.  In 2015, he was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award in Political Economy For The Twenty-First Century by the World Association of Political Economy at its Tenth Forum held at Johannesburg, South Africa.

Pritam's research has focussed on the political economy of Indian capitalism and Punjab with special reference to aspects of federal economic relations, nationalism, religion and human rights. Most recently, he has been studying from an eco-socialist perspective the sustainability implications of the spatial shift taking place in global capitalism.

His seminar subject today is a continuation of his work for his book Federalism, Nationalism and Development whose second edition came out last year.

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