The Indian State and Poverty

Fall 2013 SASP Seminar Series
The next talk in the South Asian Studies Programs fall seminar series features John Harriss for his lecture “State of Injustice: The Indian State and Poverty” on Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. in Room 2390, University Capitol Centre. Chai and snacks will be served. See the event poster

The anthropologist Akhil Gupta, in his widely acclaimed book Red Tape, argues that the Indian state has been responsible for about two million avoidable deaths each year. His argument is that this is the outcome of structural violence, and most immediately because programs intended to help the poor are subverted by the procedures of Indian bureaucracy. The argument of Harriss’ talk is that the problem of poverty should rather be viewed in terms of injustice, and the case put is substantiated through an analysis of recent innovations in social policy, including the Food Security Act.

John Harriss is professor of international studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. A social anthropologist, he has undertaken extensive research in India on a wide range of problems, including agrarian change, poverty, industrial labour, civil society and the middle class.

This event is co-sponsored by the South Asian Studies Program in International Programs, the Public Policy Center, and the UI College of Law Center for International Finance and Development.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information and special accommodations, contact Meena Khandelwal at or 319-335-2496.