This course is discontinued

STV9362 – Challenges of Social Democratic Development: Politics and Welfare Policies in Comparative Perspective

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PhD course in cooperation between Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, and Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, (co-financed by UTFORSK, Norway)

Over the last two decades much of the Global South has seen both high rates of economic growth and sweeping political change. Yet these great changes have, in many ways, held back social democratic development – which may be defined as democratic politics simultaneously seeking social equality and economic development. Is democratic development implausible, or are there any prospects for stronger progressive actors to emerge? At first sight, the prospects seem bleak. There are convincing arguments that the historical, social and political forces that created favourable conditions for the combination of growth and welfare policies in northern Europe, in particular, were a product of a pattern of industrial development and governance reform which is unlikely to grow out of current forms of uneven development. There is also widespread dissatisfaction and disillusionment with older movements, parties and policies. Yet one may ask whether and how the new circumstances may pave the way for alternative dynamics and a possible politics?

This is the first of two post-graduate courses that will be combined with a scholarly workshop in the context of a cooperation between the University of Oslo (Departments of Political Science and Sociology)  and Jawaharlal Nehru University (Centre for the Study of Law and Governance). We will try to gain new insights by reading the contrasting experiences of India and Scandinavia against each other. This is the first course. It is based on the results from a joint book project by leading scholars in both contexts. We also add literature on the character of various social rights and policy regimes. The reason is that while the Scandinavian welfare state was made possible by strong trade unions, employers’ organisations, high state capacity and robust social pacts, it is particularly important to analyse whether and how evolving social policies and rights in India may provide not just some protection but also improve the conditions for further advances in this direction.


The course is open to doctoral and M.Phil. students in political science and related disciplines whose research interest relate to the topic of the course.

There is no participation fee, but the cost of travel and accommodation, if needed, must be covered by the participants. Applicants will be notified about the outcome of their application as quickly as possible after the deadline.

PhD candidates from UiO: Apply for the course in StudentWeb
Other candidates: Application form
PhD candidates from India: Apply directly to Prof. Niraja G. Jayal, CSLG

Application deadline: 31 January 2015

If you have questions regarding admission, please contact Guro Schmidt Øvregard at UiO or Prof. Niraja G. Jayal at CSLG


Time: 9 - 13 March 2015
Venue: Centre for the Study of Law and Governance (CSLG), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)

Main lecturers:  Professors Niraja Gopal Jayal (JNU), Amit Prakash (JNU), Fredrik Engelstad (UiO) and Olle Törnquist (UiO)

Guest lectures will be given by invited additional contributors to the forthcoming book ‘Reinventing Social Democratic Development: Insights from India and Scandinavia’ (including Professors Neera Chandhoke, Pranab Bardhan, John  Harriss, Kalle Moene, Torsten Svensson and Doctors Irene Wennemo and N C Saxena)  as well as specially invited commentators on the same.

Literature and preparations

Participants are expected to have read the literature in advance and are expected to give a brief presentation of their work during the seminar.


The course will give participants through the University of Oslo ten (10) ECTS credit points. Course examination will rely on a Course Essay and on the participation of the students in the seminar discussions taking place during the course. PhD students are evaluated on pass/fail.

Submission deadline for draft papers: April 7, 2015
Active participation in seminar discussions is required.

Facts about this course






Time: 9 - 13 March 2015 Venue: CSLG, JNU



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