Between Growth and Governance

The talk examined how democratic governments respond to social movements. The existing literature bifurcates the nature of government response into the democratic and authoritarian camps, wherein the former are liberal and conciliatory in their interface with social movements, and the latter are illiberal and suppressive. However, this framework fails to capture the deep interplay between electoral politics and state capacity, which unearths a more critical landscape of governance in developing democracies. Through a closer study of this interplay in two democracies-India and Mexico-the speaker gleaned a causal understanding of why some democracies fail to respond adequately to social movements.

Bilal Baloch is a doctoral candidate in comparative politics at the University of Oxford. Prior to this, he was the Chief-of-Staff to Dean Vali Nasr at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. He assisted in editing, and contributed research toward, Dean Nasr's book, The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat (2013). He completed undergraduate study in philosophy (BSc) at the London School of Economics (Anthony Giddens Scholar), and holds a masters degree in international relations (MALD) from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (Samuel J. Elder Scholar).

His research areas include: democratization and state-society relations, political violence in the urban setting, foreign policy, multilateralism, and the use of force (geopolitics consulting).

Peter Ronald deSouza is Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Friday, 15 May 2015, 4 pm
CSDS Seminar Room