Since its inception in 1963, the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies has been recognised as one of the leading intellectual institutions of the global south. The Centre has accomplished a generational transition by reinventing itself in the 21st century, with a fresh commitment to forging links between the social sciences and the humanities, and to discovering non-European lineages of political and ethical thought in Indian languages.

At the Centre we believe that ideas grow out of everyday social and political practices. We therefore consider it an important function of intellectuals to stay close to, articulate and critically comment upon such practices. By remaining alert to the ways in which ordinary people negotiate and reinvent their worlds, and generate alternative systems and imaginations, CSDS has challenged the routes of social and political change that are accepted as ‘normal’. This frequently leads to a productive tension between rigorous scholarly work and living social movements, between academic engagement and political commitment. CSDS has been supported by the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi under the Ministry of Education, Government of India since 1969.

The Centre draws its members from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, research interests and methodological orientations. This diversity is cherished by faculty, as it helps sustain an environment where we are constantly forced to interrogate our own views and learn from one another. Indeed, what binds Centre scholars together is the conviction that this institution satisfies our deepest intellectual need to thrive in a critical and intellectually challenging context.

In this spirit, faculty members enjoy the complete freedom to pursue individual research interests, to work with one another or to collaborate with scholars outside the Centre. The faculty initiates such collaborations through projects and programmes which in turn generate a much larger network of scholars, intellectuals and institutions.

The Centre values its autonomy and the continuing critical presence in the public domain for which it is widely respected. Indeed, it generates research in the hope that it will shape public opinion, influence policy and make meaningful interventions in society. To imagine alternatives in response to our own social, political and economic problems, in diverse cultural settings, is an activity highly valued by all those who work at the Centre.

Foreign Contributions Received (Click for Details)