Michaelmas Term 2016

Past events

Read about our past events in Michaelmas Term 2016 and access podcasts and blog posts.


Leslie Knott, Filmmaker

This is a Polis Media Agenda Talk

Tuesday 6th December 2016

Leslie Knott is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer who has focused most of her career on documenting the lives of refugees.

In 2013, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Buzkashi Boys, a short feature shot on location in Afghanistan. In 2014, she received an Emmy nomination for “Kim Vs. Kabul” in Dan Rather Reports.  Knott has spent more than a decade working in Afghanistan, with many of her films focused on the lives of women.

More details on Leslie Knott and the Media Agenda Talks here.



My Liver is Bleeding

A LSE Arts Public Exhibition

Monday 28th November - Friday 9 December 2016

In December 2015, photographer Magda Rakita and writer Mark de Rond travelled to Afghanistan to investigate how more than three decades of war and endemic violence has impacted the nation’s psyche.

MY LIVER IS BLEEDING presents 16 photographs by Magda Rakita taken during their visit to Afghanistan. It depicts the lives, struggles and hopes of the medical staff, the patients and their families as they attempt to address the mental health issues of a population surrounded by conflict.

More details can be found here. Read Magda and Mark's photo blog on South Asia @ LSE here.


Tristram Hunt-Cropped-113x148

Cities of the Empire

This is a South Asia Centre '100 Foot Journey Club’ (#100FJC) event.

Wednesday 23rd November 2016

Speaker: Dr Tristram Hunt, MP

The Hon Dr Tristram Hunt, MP, will speak on the cities of Calcutta, Bombay and New Delhi, and their role in making the Empire over a century, drawing direct and close links between the colonial cities and their relationship with cities like Liverpool on the one hand, and Britain as a whole on the other. 

The Hon Dr Tristram Hunt, MP, is an intellectual and cultural historian specialising in urban pasts. He is Senior Lecturer in modern British history at Queen Mary University of London, and Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central. He is the author of Ten Cities that made an Empire  (2014).

Listen to the event podcast here, and read the South Asia @ LSE interview with Dr Hunt here.


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Who Gets Ahead? Caste, Class, and Socio-Economic Mobility in India 

This is a South Asia Centre workshop for LSE faculty & doctoral researchers

Tuesday 22nd November 2016

Speaker: Ashwini Deshpande

Ashwini Deshpande is Professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India. Her Ph.D. and early publications have been on the international debt crisis of the 1980s. Subsequently, she has been working on the economics of discrimination and affirmative action issues, with a focus on caste and gender in India, as well as on aspects of the Chinese economy: role of FDI in the reform process, regional disparities and gender discrimination. She has published extensively in leading scholarly journals. She is the author of Grammar of Caste: economic discrimination in contemporary India (2011) and Affirmative Action in India (2013).

She is the editor of: Boundaries of Clan and Color: Transnational studies of inter-group disparity,  along with William Darity, Jr. (2003); Globalization and Development: A Handbook of New Perspectives (2007); Captial  without borders: challenges to development (2010); and Global Economic Crisis and the developing world, with Keith Nurse (2012). 

The South Asia @ LSE interview with Professor Deshpande is available here.


Arif Hasan-Cropped-113x148

Urbanisation Trends in South Asia: The Case of Karachi

This is a South Asia Centre and LSE Cities public discussion

Thursday 17th November 2016

Speakers: Arif Hasan, Philipp Rode

In the past twenty years major urban related changes have taken place in Karachi which are similar to those of other South Asian mega cities.These include the nature and scale of migration; the social and physical change in informal settlements and in the planning and location of new middle and high income ones; the increase in motorized transport; changes in academia, civil society and government thinking, structure and legislation; and the "burden" of past development. The presentation will touch on these issues, their causes, repercussions and what they mean for the future.  

Arif Hasan is a practicing Pakistani architect-planner, writer, teacher and activist working in Karachi on planning and informal settlement related issues for the last 42 years. He is the founder chair of the Karachi Urban Resource Centre, Chair of the Orangi Pilot Project Research and Training Centre and a founding member of The Asian Coalition of Housing Rights. He has been involved with planning, policy and academic issues and institutions both at the national and international level and is currently on the boards of a number of academic institutions. 

Philipp Rode is Executive Director of LSE Cities and Associate Professorial Research Fellow at LSE.

Listen to the event podcast here, and read the South Asia @ LSE interview with Mr Hasan here.



Bangladesh Confronts Climate Change: Keeping our heads above the water

This is an International Development book launch

Wednesday 16th November 2016

Speakers: Dr Manoj Roy, Dr Joseph Hanlon

Chair: Professor Tim Forsyth

Bangladesh is hugely vulnerable to climate change, but refuses to be a helpless victim.

Climate change will make cyclones and floods more devastating; sea level is already rising. Bangladeshi officials, scientists and communities know what is coming and are already adapting, based on their experience of living with a very difficult environment. Cyclone shelters and warning systems now save tens of thousands of lives. Locally developed rice varieties mean Bangladesh is a rice exporter; newer varieties adapt to climate change. And coastal communities have found how to raise the land to match sea level rise.

Bangladeshis will keep their heads above water - if industrialised countries curb greenhouse gas emissions. Bangladeshi negotiators have been fighting for more than a decade to keep global warming below 1.5ºC, and to demand that industrialised countries pay for damage already done. They will be playing an important role in the annual climate change negotiations (COP 22) 7-18 November.

Manoj Roy is Lecturer at the Lancaster Environment Centre.

Joseph Hanlon is Visiting Senior Fellow at the Department of International Development.

Tim Forsyth is Professor of Environment and Development in the Department of International Development.

Read Dr Joseph Hanlon's blog on South Asia @ LSE here.


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New Politics and Policies for Nepal

This is a South Asia Centre public conversation

Monday 14th November 2016

Speakers: Dr Baburam Bhattarai,  Dr Dan Hirslund, Professor Michael Hutt

Dr Baburam Bhattarai, former Prime Minister of Nepal, and Dr Dan Hirslund (LSE) will be in conversation about a range of issues confronting contemporary Nepal. They will cover topics that are close to Dr Bhattarai’s current engagements including his work on anti-corruption measures, post-Earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation, and the role of the youth in Nepal today.  The event will be chaired by Professor Michael Hutt (SOAS).

Dr Baburam Bhattarai   is a Marxist scholar and politician who has served as Finance Minister and Prime Minister of Nepal. He holds a BA in Architecture, an MA in Planning, and a PhD in Regional Development Planning. He is now founder and Chairman of the Naya Shakti Party, which was established in June.

Dr Dan Hirslund is an anthropologist from The University of Copenhagen, currently a Visiting Research Fellow at LSE. His project is connected to the Inequality and Poverty Program.

Professor Michael Hutt is Professor  of Nepali and Himalayan Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Listen to the event podcast here, and read the South Asia @ LSE interview with Dr Bhattarai here.



Flawed Political Finance Laws and Corruption in India

This is a South Asia Centre public discussion

Wednesday 9th November 2016

Speaker: Professor M.V. Rajeev Gowda

Chair: Dr Mukulika Banerjee 

Competitive political parties and election campaigns are central to the health of democracies. Parties and campaigns require significant resources to be effective. India has developed complex election expenditure, political party funding, reporting and disclosure laws. These laws have perverse impacts on the electoral system: they drive campaign expenditure underground and foster a reliance on unaccounted funds or ‘‘black money.’’ This tends to lead to adverse selection where those able to work with black money dominate politics and worsen corruption in government overall. Possible remedies include partial state financing of political parties and realistic election expenditure limits.

Professor Gowda is currently a Member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of India's Parliament and a National Spokesperson for the Indian National Congress party. He has previously been the Chairperson of the Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, Director of the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India, and Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma. He has a PhD in Public Policy and Management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has been an Olin Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of California Berkeley and a Carnegie Council Global Ethics Fellow. His most recent co-edited book is India's Risks (2014).

Listen to the event podcast here and read the South Asia @ LSE interview with Professor Gowda here.



Martin Woollacott in conversation with Salil Tripathi

This is a South Asia Centre book discussion

Monday 7th November 2016

Martin Woollacott  will be in conversation with Salil Tripathi on his latest book The Colonel Who Would Not Repent: The Bangladesh War and Its Unquiet Legacy  (2014).

Salil Tripathi is an author and contributing editor at Mint  and at The Caravan in India. His books include Offence: The Hindu Case (2009) and Detours: Songs of the Open Road (2015). He is an award-winning journalist, and has written extensively for the Wall Street Journal, the Far Eastern Economic Review, the New Statesman, India Today, and other publications.He is currently Chair, of the PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee. 

Martin is a journalist who has written extensively for The Guardian and was in Dhaka during the liberation war of 1971; Salil is a journalist, commentator and writer.   



India's Democracy: Electoral Vibrancy, Liberal Deficits

This is a South Asia Centre roundtable discussion

Friday 4th November 2016 

Speakers: Professor Ashutosh Varshney, Ashis Ray

The speakers will explore India’s democratic and electoral record, provide an analysis of state elections in India since 2014 and assess the BJP national government’s record half way into their  term.

Ashutosh Varshney is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Contemporary South Asia at Brown University, and author of Battles Half Won: India's Improbable Democracy (2013). His book Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India (2002) won the Gregory Luebbert Prize of the American Political Science Association.

Ashis Ray was CNN's founding South Asia bureau chief in Delhi, and is the longest serving Indian foreign correspondent. Based in London he has worked in this capacity since 1977 for the BBC, CNN, the Ananda Bazar Group and The Times of India.

Listen to the event podcast here and read the South Asia @ LSE interview with Professor Varshney here.



A conversation with Dr Qazi Khalid Ali

An LSE SU Pakistan Society/Pakistan Development Society event

Thursday 3rd November 2016

Speaker: Dr Qazi Khalid Ali

Chair: Athar Hussain

Dr Qazi Khalid Ali, a renowned jurist, author, academician, public servant and legislator with over 40 years of service to Pakistan, is the founding Vice-Chancellor of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University of Law Karachi; the country’s first Law University.



Mobilising Resources and Maximising Change: An Interaction with Anshu Gupta

An LSESU South Asia Society event

Tuesday 25th October 2016 

Winner of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award, Anshu Gupta is the founder of Goonj - an NGO in India which positions underutilized urban waste as an incentive to trigger sustainable development in rural India.

His contribution to the development discourse in India has been significant. Goonj encourages rural populations to dig wells, implement watershed management, lay roads and bridges, build schools and earn urban material such as cloth, utensils, furniture as return for the work they essentially did for themselves.