Based on the discussions inaugurated by Max Weber or Norbert Elias, the conference « Social Scientists in the Civic Space » will debate the impact of big contemporary issues such as migration, health, economic development, big data, demography, gender etc. on research in the social sciences. It will explore their epistemological and ethical implications and discuss the diverse modes of interventions of social scientists in public debates and civic spaces. The two day conference will contribute to a dialogue between French and Indian scholars.

Organizers: Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Delhi / Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai / Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) / Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), Delhi / Centre Norbert Elias, Marseille
Sponsors: Institut Français en Inde / Indian Council of Social Science Research / India International Centre / École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales




Thursday 30th January 2020. 6.30 pm-8 pm 


Chair: Sucheta Mahajan, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

Arundhati Virmani, Jean Boutier, Centre Norbert Elias/EHESS, Marseille

Key note addresses
Ethical Reconfiguration of Social Scientist and Civic Space
Gopal Guru, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
Are Economists Intellectual?
Alain Trannoy, Aix Marseille School of Economics, Marseille


Friday 31st January 2020

9.30 am-12.30 am
Social sciences and the civic space

Chair: Nicolas Gravel, Centre de Sciences Humaines, Delhi
Public sociology in India
Nandini Sundar, Delhi School of Economics
Social sciences, democracy and social policy reforms: insights from Scandinavia and France
Yohann Aucante, EHESS, Paris

Chair: Bhagawan Josh, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
Ideas for Swaraj
Peter Ronald de Souza, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
Historical narratives as performative political claims : Insights from Muslim socities of South Asia
Julien Levêsque, Centre de Sciences Humaines, Delhi


2.30 pm-6.00 pm
Intervening in the civic space: social scientists in context

Chair: Denys Leighton, Ambedkar University Delhi
Civility in the Civic Space; The case of disobedience
Manohar Kumar, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi
French Historians in a World in Crisis 1925-1939
Jean Boutier, Centre Norbert Elias/EHESS, Marseille

Chair: Partho Datta, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Between Two Societies: National History from afar
Arundhati Virmani, Centre Norbert Elias/EHESS, Marseille
Policies of Food Security in India: The debate on targeting vs. universal distribution
Madhura Swaminathan, Indian Statistical Institute, Bengaluru


Saturday, 1st February 2020


9.30 am-12.30 pm
Responses to social challenges (I)

Chair: Nayan Chanda, Ashoka University, Sonipat, Haryana
Reclaiming Social Sciences in the context of ‘Big Data’
Ekta Singh, Ambedkar University, Delhi
Laws, lives and disobedience: experiences in higher education in the continuing present
Kalpana Kannabiran, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad

Chair: Sunil Kumar, Delhi University
Geographers, health borders and public debate on migration (Europe, 1900-1950)
Anne Rasmussen, Centre Alexandre Koyré for History of Science, Paris
India and Africa in the Global Agricultural System (1960-2050): Towards a New Sociotechnical Regime? 
Bruno Dorin, Centre de Sciences Humaines, Delhi, CIRAD


2.30 pm–6.00 pm
Responses to social challenges (II)

Chair: Asad Zaidi, Three Essays, Delhi
Experiencing the Last-Mile Welfare: Notes for Six Districts of India
Ashwani Kumar, Tata Institue of Social Sciences, Mumbai
Anti-Gender Movements in Two National Contexts: France and Brazil in the Last Decade
Michel Bozon, Institut National d’Etudes Démographiques, Paris

Chair: Keki N. Daruwalla, Delhi
A Partition Past. Reflections on Belonging, Identity and Shared Histories of Refugees
Srishtee Sethi, Tata Institute for Social Studies, Mumbaix
Social Science and changing cultures of forecasting: Reflections on the state and big data revolution in India 
Sarayu Natarajan & Aasim Khan, Aapti Insitute, Bangalore, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi

Neera Chandhoke, former professor Jawaharlal Nehru University, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi

India International Centre
40, Max Mueller Marg
New Delhi – 110003


Image : Cityscape 18th-19th century, India (Rajasthan) – (CC0 1.0)