Center on Contemporary India

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The Center on Contemporary India (CCI), housed within the Institute for South Asia Studies, will serve as a hub for research and activities focused on the politics, economy, and society of India. The Center will support a range of research activities engaging campus actors across disciplines and ranks, from undergraduates through faculty, and it will bring to Berkeley leading researchers and public actors engaged in work relevant to contemporary India.

Core activities will include support for student research, regular research conferences on themes of current importance to Indian affairs, short-term fellowships for public leaders, and lecture series. In the future, we hope to expand our offerings to include, among other things, post-doctoral fellowships on the Berkeley campus.

The founding faculty director of the new Center will be Prof. Jennifer Bussell, Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Prof. Bussell studies comparative politics with an emphasis on the political economy of development, democratic representation, and governance outcomes, principally in South Asia and Africa. Prof. Bussell's newest book, Clients and Constituents: Political Responsiveness in Patronage Democracies (Modern South Asia Series, Oxford University Press), considers the provision of constituency service by high-level elected officials in India and elsewhere, using elite and citizen surveys, interviews, qualitative shadowing, and experiments to explore the implications of citizen-state relations for public service delivery. Her first book, Corruption and Reform in India: Public Services in the Digital Age (Cambridge University Press) examines the role of corrupt practices in shaping government adoption of information technology across sub-national regions and is based on fieldwork in sixteen Indian states, as well as parts of South Africa and Brazil. Read more about her at her faculty page HERE.

The official launch of the Center on Contemporary India will be in Spring, 2021.