Path Dependence, Educational Development and the Kerala Model

Path Dependence, Educational Development and the Kerala Model: Unpacking Contested Histories

The variations in developmental trajectories of Indian states, and of performance in specific sectors such as education, are of interest as development increasingly matters to empirical outcomes in democracy. This lecture had a substantive engagement with the outlier performance of Kerala among Indian states, noted for its very high level of literacy rates. Of greater interest is its methodological engagement with the concept of path dependence used frequently to explain why the educational development in this state is vastly better than other Indian states.

The arguments herein are a polemical engagement with current scholarship and recognition of a more contested terrain that challenged feudalism, and where the emergence of print and the public sphere is an outcome of contests.

Manisha Priyam is an Associate Professor of Educational Policy at the National University for Educational Planning and Administration. Her research interest is on themes of democracy and development in India which include democratic decentralisation and development, educational policy reforms, urban inequality and political change and ethnography of elections.

Her recent publications include Contested Politics of Educational Reforms in India: Aligning Opportunities with Interests (OUP 2015) and ‘From Clients to Citizens: Learning from Brazil’s Bolsa Familia Provides Opportunities to Delhi’ in N. Jayaram edited Social Dynamics of the Urban, Springer.

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

Thursday, 30 November 2017
3 pm, CSDS Seminar Room