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HIP Workshop, 9th February, 2018


Social Science Disaster Research in India: Examples Performance Evaluation and Accountability of the
from current research Judiciary (with comparative studies
between the EU and India)
Lena Bledau and Himani Upadhyay
Fachbereich Politik und Sozialwissenschaften Medha Srivastava
Freie Universität Berlin Juristische Fakultät, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

The Disaster Research Unit (DRU) (FU, Berlin) is
Ensuring transparency and accountability of the
specialized in social scientific disaster research with a
judiciary has been the topic of widespread debate in
strong inter- and transdisciplinary focus. The DRU is
India, especially after the striking down of a law which
part of two Indo-German research projects– FloodEvac
sought to drastically change the system of judicial
and Involve. FloodEvac primarily examines socio-
appointments. This research project seeks to look at
cultural factors and the implications of the 2005
the problems associated with judicial accountability
Mumbai floods for Indian disaster management.
mechanisms, such as its interplay with the idea of
Involve is evaluating vulnerability and resilience
judicial independence. One of the ways to do this is a
relying on a transdisciplinary conceptual framework in
programme to monitor and evaluate the performance
the context of extreme events in Uttarakhand
of the judiciary– either/or court systems and judges.
(floodings and landslides) and Odisha (heatwaves).
Both the teams have recently returned from fieldwork
in India and will present and discuss their preliminary Communicating Exclusion: Ambivalence, Avoidance
findings. and Resistanceamong Muslims and Dalits in
North India

The Military and Civil Administration of Delhi, 1857 Britta Ohm
Institut für Sozialanthropologie, Universität Bern
Heena Ansari
Faculty of History and Culture, Jamia Milia Islamia+
This research seeks to establish an understanding of
CeMIS, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
‘talking about media’ as a form of contemporary
media discourse in India that characterizes exclusion.
This project is an attempt to analyze and reconstruct
Muslims and Dalits, who are linked through the
the administration of Delhi during the period of revolt,
increasingly vocal group of Dalit Muslims (Pasmandas),
when it was governed by the rebels (for a period of
engage in this discourse on various, partly also
four months, May-September 1857). The primary
mediated, levels. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in
focus of the research is to understand the world of
Delhi, Patna and Ahmedabad, I argue that these levels,
rebels, examining their ideas of a future state and
among others, relate to the respective distance to,
administration: their aspirations, their strategies of
and also fear of, mainstream media discourses and
mobilization, the classes they sought to mobilize and
state media practices (including surveillance and
the type of polity that they visualized. The sources
biometrics), degrees of technological marginalization
used include the Mutiny papers (which include
and socio-political discrimination, the respective
pamphlets and orders issued by rebel leaders and
position within their communities, the grade of
letters of correspondences among the rebels),
communication between castes and communities, and
memoirs of both English and local officials as well as
especially to regional differences within North India.
local newspapers.