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Comparative Social Sciences 2011 Syllabus

Comparative Social Sciences: Reading Contemporary Classics across Disciplines

Second Semester

Winter 2011 Session

Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences

Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Co-Instructors: Hari Sharma and Bandita Sijapati


Course Description

This is a reading course. We will read select books, monographs and journal articles while debating critically the methodological approaches, disciplinary boundaries, and interdisciplinarity and their contribution to the social sciences.

This course will run in a weekly seminar format. Each session will last for three hours and will be structured as follows:

(a) An introductory lecture on the issues and readings

(b) Presentations on the readings by students

(c) Class discussion

(d) Summary.


Course objectives

The objectives of this course are to engage in a dialogue that cuts across disciplinary boundaries; develop critical engagement with research in the social sciences; understand divergent methodological concerns and vocations; and cultivate students’ abilities to critically engage with primary texts, participate in and contribute to the shared inquiry of theoretical dialogue, and write clearly, concisely and analytically.


Course Requirements

Readings, Presentations and Class Participation: Since this is an advanced level seminar course, students are expected to read and participate in class. They are required to present their assigned readings and lead discussions. (Class participation: 20%; Presentation: 20%)

Mid-term Assignment: The students will write a methodological critique of any one reading of their choice. The assignment is due at the end of the 8th week. (20%)

Term Paper: A term paper is due at the end of course. An outline of the term paper has to be submitted by the end of the 12th week. (40%)


Detailed Course Outline

Week 1: State of Social Science – Introductory Class, Planning for the Semester (Hari Sharma)


Required Readings

---. 2010. World Social Science Report 2010: Knowledge Divides – Summary, Paris: UNESCO and International Social Science Council.

---. 2010. Chapters 5 and 6, World Social Science Report 2010: Knowledge Divides, Paris: UNESCO and International Social Science Council, pp. 167-185 and 189-231.

Joas, Hans. 2004. “The Changing Role of the Social Sciences: An Action-Theoretical Perspective”, International Sociology, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 301-313.


Week 2: Area Studies Debate (Hari Sharma)

Required Readings 

Bates, Robert H. 1997. “Area Studies and the Discipline: A Useful Controversy?” PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 166-169.

Dirks, Nicholas B. 2003. “South Asian Studies: Futures Past”, The Politics of Knowledge: Area Studies and the Disciplines (UCIAS Edited Volume 3). URL: Accessed on 6 June, 2011.

Harriss, John. 1988. “A Review of South Asian Studies”, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 43-56.


Additional Readings

Rudolph, Susanne Hoeber. 2008. “The Imperialism of Categories: Situating Knowledge in a Globalizing World” in Rudolph, Lloyd I. and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, Explaining Indian Democracy, A Fifty-Year Perspective1956-2006 Vol. 1: The Realm of Ideas: Inquiry and theory, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 100-118.


Week 3: Social Sciences in Nepal: A Review (Hari Sharma)

Required Readings 

Adhikary, Jaganath. 2010. Geographical Education and Research in Nepal, Kathmandu: Himal Books.

Hachhethu, Krishna. 2002. “Social Sciences Research in Nepal”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 37, No. 35, pp. 3631-3643.

Hachhethu, Krishna. 2004. “Political Science in Nepal”, Studies in Nepali History and Society, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 225-259.

Misra, Chaitanya. 2007. “Sociology in Nepal: Underdevelopment amidst Growth”, Essays on the Sociology of Nepal, Kathmandu: Fine Print, pp. 267-321.

Onta, Pratyoush. 2003. “The Institutional Future of Academic History in Nepal”, Studies in Nepali History and Society, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 125 – 156.

Additional readings from the region

Zaidi, S. Akbar. 2002. “Dismal State of Social Sciences in Pakistan”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 37, No. 35, pp. 3644-3661.


Week 4: Study of the State: Process of State Formation (Hari Sharma)

Required Readings 

Rudolph, Lloyd I. and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph. 2008. Introduction and Chapters 1 & 3, in Rudolph, Lloyd I. and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, Explaining Indian Democracy: A Fifty-Year Perspective1956-2006 Vol. 2: The Realm of Institutions: State Formation and Institutional Change, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-4, 5-25 and 46-97.

Rudolph, Susanne Hoeber. 2008. Chapter 2, in Rudolph, Lloyd I. and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, Explaining Indian Democracy: A Fifty-Year Perspective1956-2006 Vol. 2: The Realm of Institutions: State Formation and Institutional Change, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp 26-45.


Additional readings

Rudolph, Llyod I. and J. K. Jacobsen. 2008. Chapter 5 in Rudolph, Lloyd I. and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph. 2008. Explaining Indian Democracy: A Fifty-Year Perspective1956-2006 Vol. 2: The Realm of Institutions: State Formation and Institutional Change, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp 120-138.

Weber, Max. 1946. “Politics as a Vocation” in Gerth, Hans and C. Wright Mills (eds.) Essays in Sociology, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 77-128.

Poggi, Gianfranco. 2001. “Formation and Form: Theories of State Formation” in Nash, Kate and Alan Scott (eds.) The Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology, London: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 95-106.


Week 5: Study of the State…continued (Hari Sharma)

Required Readings 

Burghart, Richard, 1996. “The Formation of Concept of Nation-State in Nepal” in Fuller, C.J. and Jonathan Spencer (eds.) The Conditions of Listening: Essays on Religion, History and Politics in South Asia, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 226-260.

Regmi, Mahesh C. 1995. Kings and Political Leaders of the Gorkhali Empire 1768-1814, Hyderabad: Orient Longman Limited.

Blaikie, Piers et. al. 2005. Chapters 1 to 4, Nepal in Crisis: Growth and Stagnation at the Periphery, New Delhi: Adroit, pp. 3-94.

Clarke, Graham E. 1996. “Blood, Territory and National Identity in Himalayan States” in Tonnesson, Stein and Hans Antlov (eds.) Asian Forms of the Nation, London: Routledge Curzon, pp. 205-236.


Week 6: Nationalism and Ethnicity (Hari Sharma)

Required Readings

 Gellner, Ernest. 2006. Chapters 1, 2 and 3, Nations and Nationalism, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp. 1-7, 8-18, 19-37.

Anderson, Benedict. 1990. Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 10, Imagined Communities, London: Verso, pp. 1-7, 9-36, 37-46, 163-185.

Chatterjee, Partha. 1994. Chapters 1and 2, Nation and its Fragments, Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 3-13 and 14-34.

Calhoun, Craig. 1993. “Nationalism and Ethnicity”, Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 19, pp. 211-239.

Brass, Paul R. 1991. “Elite Competition and Nation Formation”, Ethnicity and Nationalism: Theory and Comparison, New Delhi: Sage, pp. 69-108


Week 7: Nationalism and Ethnicity…continued (Hari Sharma)

Required Readings

 Whelpton, John., David N. Gellner and Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka. 2008. "New Nepal, New Ethnicities: Changes Since the Mid 1990s", in Gellner, David N. et. al. (eds.) Nationalism and Ethnicity in Nepal, Kathmandu: Vajra Books, pp. xvii – xlviii.

Gellner, David N. 2008. "Ethnicity and Nationalism in the World's Only Hindu State", in Gellner, David N. et. al. (eds.) Nationalism and Ethnicity in Nepal, Kathmandu: Vajra Books, pp. 3-37.

Sharma, Prayag Raj. 2008. “Nation-Building, Ethnicity, and the Hindu State”, in Gellner, David N. et. al. (eds.) Nationalism and Ethnicity in Nepal, Kathmandu: Vajra Books, pp. 471-493.

Gurung, Harka B. 2008. “State and Society in Nepal”, in Gellner, David N. et. al. (eds.) Nationalism and Ethnicity in Nepal, Kathmandu: Vajra Books, pp. 495-532.

Hangen, Susan. 2010. “The Indigenous Nationalities Movement in post-1990 Nepal,” in The Rise of Ethnic Politics in Nepal: Democracy in the Margins, New Delhi: Routledge, pp. 34-58.


Additional Readings

Ray, R. and Korteweg, A.C. 1999. “Women’s Movement in Third World: Identity, Mobilization and Autonomy”, Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 25, pp. 47-71.

Gellner, David N. 2008. “Introduction: Transformations of the Nepalese State", in Gellner, David N. (ed.) Resistance and the State: Nepalese Experience, New Delhi: Social Science Press. pp. 1-30.


Week 8: Debating Globalization (Bandita Sijapati)

Required Readings 

Giddens, Anthony. 2003. “Globalization”, Runaway World. How globalization is reshaping our lives, New York: Routledge, pp. 6-19.

Stiglitz, Joseph. 2002. Globalization and its Discontents, New York: W.W. Norton, pp. 23-52.

Rodrik, Dani. 1997. “Sense and Nonsense in the Globalization Debate”, Foreign Policy, Summer 1997, pp. 19-37.

Nustad, Knut. 2003. “Considering Global/Local Relations: Beyond Dualism”, in Eriksen, Thomas Hylland (ed.) Globalization: Studies in Anthropology, London: Pluto Books, pp. 122-137.

Taylor, Ian. 2005. “Globalisation Studies and the Developing World: Making International Political Economy Truly Global”, Third World Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 7, pp. 1025-1042.

Rajgopal, Shoba S. 2002. “Reclaiming Democracy? The Anti-globalization Movement in South Asia”, Feminist Review, No. 70.


Week 9: The State, the Market and the Effects of Globalization (Bandita Sijapati)

Required Readings 

Hobson, John and Ramesh, M. 2002. “Globalisation Makes of States What States Make of It: Between Agency and Structure in the State/Globalisation Debate”, New Political Economy, Vol. 7, Issue, 1, pp. 5-22.

Strange, Susan. 1996. Chapter 1, The Retreat of the State: The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 525-546.

Nye, Joesph. 2001. “Globalization’s Democratic Deficit”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 80, pp. 2-6.

Ravallion, Martin. “Competing Concepts of Inequality in the Globalization Debate”, Brookings Trade Forum, 2004, pp. 1-38

Sassen, Saskia. 2009. “Cities Today: A New Frontier for Major Developments”, The Annals of the American Academy, No. 626, pp. 53-71.

Oommen, T.K. 2001. “State Versus Nation: Linking Culture and Governance in South Asia”, South Asian Survey, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 213-217.


Week 10: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (Bandita Sijapati)

Required Readings 

Appadurai, Arjun. 1996. Chapter 2, Modernity at Large: Cultural dimension of Globalization, Minnesota: University of Minnesota, pp. 27-47.

Lieber, Robert J. and Ruth E. Weisberg. “Globalization, Culture, and Identities in Crisis”, International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 273-296.

Juergensmeyer, Mark. 2001. “Terror and God”, in Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-15.

Ganguly-Scrase, Ruchira and Gillian Vogl. 2008. “Ethnographies of gendered displacement: Women's experiences in South Asia under neo-liberal globalization”, Women's Studies International Forum, Vol. 31, pp. 1–15.

English-Lueck, J.A. 2011. “Prototyping self in Silicon Valley: Deep diversity as a framework for anthropological inquiry”, Anthropological Theory, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 89–106.

Bhatia, Tej K. 2006. “Super-heroes to super languages: American popular culture through South Asian language comics”, World Englishes, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 279–297.


Week 11: Introduction to Economic Thinkers (Bandita Sijapati)

Required Readings 

Smith, Adam. 1776. Book 4, Chapter IX, “Of Systems of Political Economy”, Wealth of Nations (Fifth Edition), New York: Bantam Books, pp. 539-561.

Friedman, Milton. 1982. Capitalism and Freedom, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, pp. 22-36.

Marx, Karl. 1978. “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844”, in Tucker, Robert (ed.) The Marx and Engels Reader (Second Edition), New York: W.W.Norton and Company, pp. 66-125.

Keynes, John Maynard. Chapters 1 and 24, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.

Malthus, Thomas. 1998. Chapters 1 and 6, An Essay on the Principle of Population, London: Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, pp. 1-5 and 32-35.


Week 12: Understanding Growth (Bandita Sijapati)

Required Readings 

Rostow, W.W.1965. “The Five Stages-of-Growth- A Summary”, The Stages of Economic Growth, Cambridge University Press, pp. 4-16.

Fligstein, Neil. "The Sociology of Markets." Annual Review of Sociology, 2007.

Chang, Ha-Joon and Grabel, Ilene. 2004-2005. “Reclaiming Development from the Washington Consensus”, Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Vol. 27, No. 2, Winter, pp. 273-291.

Devrajan, Shantayanan and Ijaz Nabi. 2006. Economic Growth in South Asia: Promising, Un-equalizing,…Sustainable?, Washington D.C.: World Bank.

Week 13: Development Debate (Bandita Sijapati)

Required Readings 

Sachs, Jeffrey. 2005. “The Development Challenge”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 84, No. 2, pp. 78-90.

Escobar, Arturo. 1995. “The Problematization of Poverty: The Tale of Three Worlds and Development”, Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of The Third World, Princeton: Princeton University Press., pp. 21-54

Sen, Amartya. 2000. Introduction and Chapter 1, Development as Freedom, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-11 and 13-34.

Ferguson, James. 1994. Preface and Chapter 1 and 9, The Anti-Politics Machine, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. xii-xvi, 3-21 and 251-288.

Broad, Robin and John Cavanagh. 2006. “The Hijacking of the Development Debate: How Friedman and Sachs Got It Wrong”, World Policy Journal, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 21-30.

Islam, Rizwanul. 2003. Labour Market Policies, Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction: Lessons and Non-lessons from the Comparative Experience of East, South-East and South Asia (Issues in Employment and Poverty, Discussion Paper No.8), Geneva: International Labor Organization.

Week 14: Groups, Institutions and Development (Bandita Sijapati)

Required Readings 

Hirschman, Albert O. 1970. Chapter 1, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, pp. 1-20.

North, Douglass C. 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance, New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 92-140.

Przeworski, Adam. 2004. “The Last Instance: Are Institutions the Primary Cause of Economic Development?”, European Journal of Sociology, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 165-188.

Scott, James C. 2009. “Hills, Valleys, and States: An Introduction to Zomia” in The Art of Not Being Governed, New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 1-39.

Varughese, G, and Elinor Ostrom. 2001. “The Contested Role of Heterogeneity in Collective Action: Some Evidence from Community Forestry in Nepal”, World development, Vol. 29, No. 5, pp. 747-765.


Week 15: Prepare term papers

Week 16: Prepare term papers