Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CfPs: Conference on Decentralized Disaster Governance in Urbanizing Asia, at ARI Singapore; 5-6 March 2015

Conference on Decentralized Disaster Governance in Urbanizing Asia
5-6 March 2015
Venue: Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore 

Throughout Asia, political reforms are devolving state authority to sub-national jurisdictions to improve governance processes and outcomes by imbedding them in local contexts and capacities. The purpose of this multidisciplinary workshop is to examine decentralized governance from the perspective of environmental disasters. Often portrayed as the preferred means for bringing government closer to the people, decentralized governance is expected to more effectively respond to societal needs by empowering people and their communities to politically articulate their expectations and priorities through public decision-making. Decentralized decision-making is also expected to more quickly respond to disasters due to proximity to events and better ability to mobilize social resources and local knowledge in planning for, responding to and gaining resilience to future disasters.   
Realizing the many hopes of decentralization encounters well-known bottlenecks and opposing perspectives. Local governments are frequently without sufficient authority, qualified personnel or adequate material resources in times of disaster. Participatory governance mechanisms can equally be thwarted by local power relations and patronage networks. When large-scale disasters occur, centralized government agencies in tandem with donor-assisted programs often assert command over local governments rather than working with them as partners.  
At the same time, innovations in decentered disaster governance are appearing alongside an engaged civil society and active non-government community advocacy and planning organizations. Their successes do not negate the need for centrally coordinated engagement in disaster governance. Rather, the challenge is to build multi-level capacities through governance institutions at all scales to identify issues that would most benefit from higher level decision-making processes without compromising the efficacy of community engagement in the politics of disasters.
In addition to raising questions about governance practices, a focus on the intersection between centralized and decentralized regimes of governance through the lens of disaster reveals how their disruptions can lead to new alignments and compounding impacts that transcend existing political jurisdictions. Because many disasters cannot be neatly contained within territorially demarcated boundaries, both vertical and horizontal arrangements among government units can be destabilized. In such cases, the 'rupture' of disastrous events may produce new transborder networks, relationships and connections based upon shared problems, ideas, knowledge and technologies within and among nation-states. Environmental disasters may also compel local governments to seek or foster wider networks of cooperation in post-disaster recovery priorities and programs. In all cases, rigid routines of existing political and administrative arrangements may prove incapable of meeting the exigencies of disasters, and more flexible responses can emerge that do not fit neatly into received ideas about territorially bounded hierarchies of governance.
We invite submission of papers from young and established scholars, policymakers, planners and development practitioners to more fully explore these and other questions about the reflexive relationships between decentralization and disaster governance in urbanizing Asia. We encourage applicants to consider empirical case studies and theories within comparative Asian contexts to draw lessons that can be learned from Asia for decentralized disaster governance regimes in other urbanizing world regions. Core questions that will guide the workshop proceedings to speak to related themes across disciplinary and geographical boundaries include:
- How can we conceptualize the relationship between devolved systems of governance and environmental disasters at multiple scales and across a broad time scale of preparedness, response, and long-term recovery and resilience?
- Does the devolution of political power effectively lead to participatory forms of disaster governance?  What is the evidence that this occurs, and what are the bottlenecks that inhibit more inclusionary disaster governance processes? 
- How do environmental disasters reveal or even magnify relations of power and social cleavages?  Do post-disaster power relations change toward greater concentrations of power, more inclusive governance, or no significant change at all?  What lessons can we draw from assessing the politics of disasters?
- To what extent do international and transborder networks of cooperation among decentralized governments emerge from shared disaster experiences? What are the promising dimensions of this kind of cooperation, and what are the major bottlenecks in creating collaborative horizontal linkages among localities?  

Paper proposals should include a title, an abstract (250 words maximum) and a brief personal biography of 150 words for submission to Ms Valerie Yeo at by 30 September 2014. Successful applicants will be notified by 10 October 2014 and will be required to send in a completed draft paper (5,000 - 8,000 words) by 31 January 2015.

Workshop Convenors
Dr Michelle MILLER
Asia Research Institute
National University of Singapore

Asia Research Institute and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore

Contact Person: Mdm YEO Ee Lin Valerie

Download Paper Proposal Submission Form:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Article by CSSP Scholar, A. Borthakur "Generation and Management of Electronic Waste in the City of Pune, India"

Borthakur, Anwesha (2014). Generation and Management of Electronic Waste in the City of Pune, India. Bulletin of Science Technology Society, published online before print, 2014, doi: 10.1177/0270467614541242.

Abstract: Electronic waste (E-waste) illustrates discarded appliances that utilize electricity for their functioning. It is one of the fastest growing waste streams across the globe. A study on the generation and management of E-waste was conducted in the city of Pune, India, involving four different stakeholders, namely, the information technology (IT) sector, banking sector, educational institutes, and households. All these stakeholders are listed by the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest as major contributors to the problem of E-waste in the country. Semistructured interviews were carried out at 4 IT companies, 10 banks, 16 educational institutes, and 50 households. Results show that the generation of E-waste with respect to computer waste is highest at the IT sector, followed by the banking sector. Apart from a few exceptions, rudimentary management practices were prevalent among the stakeholders. There is a lack of awareness on concerns related to E-waste. Establishing sustainable E-waste management practices, formulation and implementation of appropriate policy initiatives, transparency in the system, and educating people on their responsibility toward global E-waste problem are essential in order to address the emerging concern of E-waste in India.

Full-Text PDF:

Monday, August 11, 2014

CfPs: Conference on Sustainable urbanization in India: Challenges and opportunities, organized by Institute of Development Studies Kolkata, 15-16 January 2015

Conference on Sustainable urbanization in India: Challenges and opportunities 
15-16 January 2015 
Organized by Institute of Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK) in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)

Concept Note
Since 2007, urban centres have become the dominant habitat for human beings making the process of urbanization one of the most significant global trends of the twenty‐first century. Sustainable Urbanization is the post‐2015 development agenda of the United Nations. It unfurls optimistic designs where the city is considered the axis for the new global change, economic forces to entire nations, and central players on the world stage. With global environmental change at the planetary scale on one hand and rapid urbanization at the other, cities are recognized as seedbeds of solutions; flurry of recommendations, designs, and innovations are being thought upon with sustainability as the nucleus. Since the 1990s, cities came to be looked at through the sustainability lens. The concept of 'sustainable cities' emerged, being derived from 'sustainable development' which was popularized in the Brundtland Report (1987) of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), United Nations (UN) and Agenda 21 (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development [UNESCO], 1992). The UN Sustainable City Programme in the South was launched as a vehicle for implementing Agenda 21 at the city level to incorporate environmental management into urban development decision making where economic and environmental costs of urbanization and urban development were to be taken into account and cities were to be designed as compact, energy efficient cities, self‐reliant in terms of resource production and waste absorption. 
There are critical perspectives questioning the effectiveness of these programmes in the global South with the central argument that here sustainability is perceived from the Northern lens ignoring the critical issues of lack of availability and access to infrastructures and resources. Critics include Mike Davis, Joseph Gugler, David Harvey and others who have invoked into the contradictions associated with rapid and rampant urbanization in the poorest quarters of the developing nations.
The present seminar aims to move beyond the bi‐centric approach (of only looking into the differences between the 'developed' and the 'developing' world) and reflect on cities across India using polycentric methods and approaches. In spite of some common components, each and every city has its own trajectories of growth and development, vulnerability and resilience. The Indian scenario is extremely diverse and cities can be broadly classified according to historical, geographical and demographic conjectures. Solutions laid out in official and non‐official documents tend to miss out these diversities. The main objective of the seminar is to identify city‐specific sources of unsustainability and challenges and explore strategies and potentials to make the process of urban transition both sustainable and equitable. Lessons can be learnt from multi‐scalar analyses and case‐study based examples of Indian cities. The non‐linear, bottom‐up, multisectoral process‐based local contexts and initiatives would interrogate a general acceptance of the universalized concept of Sustainable Urbanization and suggest ways that might be important for transcending the theory into action.  

Call for Papers 
Major and cross‐cutting/overlapping themes
  • Urban inequalities (between large cities and small towns and among different groups within a city)
  • Governance, planning and finance (role of govt. institutions, NGOs, CBOs and foreign capital) 
1. Civic infrastructures (including access to natural resources)
2. Waste management  
3. Emission and energy use
4. Urban sprawl/mega‐urbanization
5. Different shades of metropolitan civility and urban environmentalism(s)  
6. Cities and disasters – vulnerabilities and resilience
Important dates
- August 30, 2014: Submission of abstract
- September 20, 2014: Authors of selected abstracts would be notified via email
- November 30, 2014: Submission of full draft paper
- January 15 and 16, 2015: Paper presentation in the conference
- February 20, 2015: Submission of full revised paper for publication

Submission guidelines
- Researchers from academic, government and non‐government organizations are invited to submit their original and unpublished research work on any of the sub‐themes mentioned above. The list of sub‐themes is, however, only suggestive.
- Abstracts should be within 500 words and they should contain complete contact details of the author(s) including email id(s) and contact number(s). Abstracts must state the research problems, methods and methodologies pursued and major observations and findings of the research clearly.
- Selected papers will be invited for presentation in the conference. While submitting a full paper, please abide by the following guidelines:
- Paper size: Approximately 6000 words including references  
- Style: American Psychological Association (APA)
- Font: Times New Roman; Size: 12 points; Spacing: 1.5  
Please note that we are planning to publish some of the selected papers in a book volume by a reputed publisher.

Travel and accommodation
IDSK will reimburse travel expenses to and from the place of residences that include AC 2/3 tier train fare, boarding and lodging facility in the city and other expenses to those paper presenters who will submit full papers within the scheduled date.
For any queries, please email Dr. Jenia Mukherjee (Assistant Professor of History of Ecology and Environment and Coordinator of the conference) at or call at 08017246499. 

Inlaks Research Travel Grants for 2014


Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation invites applications for the selection of Inlaks Research Travel Grants in 2014. The deadline for receiving applications for the grants is October 15, 2014.

The Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation has been supporting innovative work in research and scholarship for more than three decades. The 'Inlaks Research Travel Grant' is geared to assist registered PhD. students of Indian universities to undertake short-term visits to universities abroad to collect material, use facilities and consult experts.


The 'Inlaks Research Travel Grant' offers financial support for a maximum of 3 months at a university/institution/library abroad. The Grant will cover:
  • Discounted air fare

  • Maintenance expenses at a modest rate

  • Funds for buying material and books, and making copies of relevant literature.
    The applicants must

  1. hold confirmed PhD registration for at least two years but for not more than four years

  2. have a first class degree at either Bachelor's (Honours) or Master's level, preferably both.

  3. be under 35 years of age on 31 December in the year of applying.
Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Fully filled form for 'Inlaks Research Travel Grant'. The forms may be downloaded from the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation website:
  • Sample of written work (3000-5000 words) on the subject of the candidate's research. This should preferably be a draft (with full annotation and documentation) of a chapter of the PhD thesis along with details regarding the reading list, surveys, or any other work done towards the thesis.

  • Evidence of having communicated with concerned persons or institutions abroad and having received a positive response.
  • A written and signed statement from the applicant's supervisor stating:
    • The candidate's ability, focus and progress in the work done under her/his supervision

    • The candidate's need to go abroad
    • That the funds for the visit cannot be obtained from any other source
    • Additional recommendations (i.e other than from the supervisor) should not be submitted.
  • The fully filled in forms and other enclosures must be sent by post to the following address: 86/87 Atlanta, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021

October 15, 2014

  • Any material collected by the selected candidates (books, copies, instruments etc.) must become the property of the candidate's institution for wider use by future scholars.

  • All this material must carry a statement regarding the support received from the Inlaks Research Travel Grants
  • The grants must be utilized within nine months of the date of award.
  • The students must furnish vouchers/evidence for major expenses like lodging, library fees, buying books, etc.
    The candidates will be expected to go through a two-tier selection procedure.

  • First round short-listing on the basis of the written record submitted by the candidate.
  • Second and final round: Personal interview of the short-listed candidates.
NOTE: The candidates short-listed for the interview will be informed by November 2014. The final interviews will be held either November or December 2014.

Application Form
Download Application Form (xls. format)
This form can be downloaded, filled in and sent by post to the following address:: Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, C/o Inlaks India Foundation, 86/87 Atlanta, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021.

Friday, August 8, 2014

CfPs The Philosophy of Education Conference 2015, Bangalore

CfP Poster - Philosophy of Education
The Philosophy of Education Conference, 2015
19-21 January 2015, APU, Bangalore

Last date for submissions
Complete papers between 4500-5000 words should be uploaded in the online system (link provided below) by October 30, 2014.
Authors are advised to follow the prescribed word limit. They may also note that incomplete papers, extended abstracts, or papers exceeding the word limit may not be considered. Click the URL below to submit your paper -

Important Dates
Last date for submissions: October 30, 2014
Communications on acceptance of submissions: November 15, 2014
Conference dates: January 19-21, 2015.

Instructions for Submissions
Submissions should be made by registering as 'interested speaker' in the online system and subsequently uploading a copy of the paper in MS Word format. Please don't upload pdf versions of the papers. All submissions should have two documents;
I. Information about the author; name, institutional affiliation, email ids, and phone numbers.
2. Complete paper with the title, and containing an abstract of the paper in 200-300 words.
Authors should not write their names, institutional affiliation, email id or any form of identification on the paper. 

In case, you don't receive an email acknowledgement on submission, or if you have any other query regarding the conference or paper submissions please write to

Review Process
All submissions will be blind reviewed by a panel of reviewers. The decision regarding selection of the paper will be communicated by email to the authors on or before November, 15, 2014. The decision of the Conference Committee will be final.

Travel and Accommodation
Authors are advised to first explore funding possibilities at their home institutions or other institutions and then contact us for travel funding. Azim Premji University will be supporting partial or full cost of travel for a limited number of authors based on individual merit and need. Lodging and boarding for the period of the Conference will be provided by Azim Premji University.