'The People's State': Rethinking Popular Politics in the early Twenty-First Century

Conveners: Ravinder Kaur and Nayanika Mathur

Speakers: Srirupa Roy, Gyan Prakash, Ornit Shani, Rohit De, Nusrat Chowdhury, Sharika Thiranagama, Lars Bo Kaspersen, Thomas Blom Hansen, Lawrence Cohen, Nayanika Mathur, Aradhana Sharma, Ravinder Kaur

The People’s State
Rethinking Popular Politics in the early Twenty-First Century

18-19th March 2019 – University of Copenhagen 

Monday, 18th March

9.30 – 9.45        Tea
9.45 – 10.00      Welcome and Introductions by Ravinder Kaur and Nayanika Mathur

I Revisiting Populism
10.00 – 12.00    

Lineages of Populism: Outsider Politics and the Long 1970s in India
Srirupa Roy, Göttingen University 

State, democracy, and populism: Indira Gandhi’s Emergency and its afterlife
Gyan Prakash, Princeton University

12.00 – 13.00     Lunch

II Who are ‘the people’?
13.00 – 15.00

The Becoming of the People’s State in India, 1946-1952
Ornit Shani, Haifa University 

Litigous Citizens: Bazaar Regulation and Constitutional Rights in Nehruvian India
Rohit De, Yale University 

15.00 – 15.15    Tea Break 

III Disaggregating the People – “Crowds” and “Peasants”
15.15 – 17.15

Paradoxes of the Popular: Some Thoughts on Crowd Politics in Bangladesh 
Nusrat Chowdhury, Amherst College

Who Tills the Land? Caste, Communism and the Peasant in Kerala
Sharika Thiranagama, Stanford University

18.30                 Dinner

Tuesday, 19th March

IV Liberalism/Illiberalism  
10.00 – 12.00

The State as a survival unit:  Or, why the world (most likely) will stay as a pluriverse
Lars Bo Kaspersen, Copenhagen University 

Democracy against the law: Reflections on India’s illiberal democracy
Thomas Blom Hansen, Stanford University

12.00 – 13.00    Lunch 

V The Nonhumans in the Indian State 
13.00 – 15.00

Aadhaar, the janata, and the Impossibility of Failure
Lawrence Cohen, University of Berkeley

Beastly Identification: the government of big cats in India
Nayanika Mathur, University of Oxford 

15.00 – 15.15    Tea Break 

VI The Politics of the Common Man
15.15 – 17.15

Building a “Common” Ground? Tinkering with Technomoral Politics, Lawfare, and the State in India
Aradhana Sharma, Wesleyan University

“I Swear”: The public ritual of “Oath-Eating” and the making of the Common Man
Ravinder Kaur, Copenhagen University 

17.15 – 18.15    What Next?

19.00                 Dinner