Conflict & Development

Ever since school resumed last month, I was figuring out my schedule for the next few months during this semester. Now its sorted. A bunch of interesting classes this time. For starters, I have opted for the conflict and development track. It makes for some very fascinating and informed reading on the economic compulsions for war, for example. Aslo pouring over Red Sun by Sudeep Chakravarti on Maoism in India to accompany my learning about the interface between conflict and development. Suddenly becoming aware how conflict is intricately, inevitably linked with so many aspects of contemporary reality.

Reviewing a bunch of papers for an assignment examining the links between conflict and climate change. Most use econometric tools and analyses to arrive at conclusions. Thankfully I am also wrestling with economterics, so I read and understand this stuff as I go along.

The other course I am excited about is ‘corporate responsibility in transnational law’. There is a lot of discussion about Alien Torts Statute and questions about liabilities and whether companies should be treated as individuals. Will blog separately about it.

Interesting that all of this converges together. It amazes me that almost everything I read characterises what is happening back home in India. Here is Arundhati Roy’s latest essay in the Outlook that somehow ties it all together – Capitalism – a ghost story.

A senior journalist in New York (former WSJer, immigrant) I admire very much, once scoffed at me for being too fixated about India. This was when I had just left the country. I now see why he did that. I am now slowly beginning to make sense that whatever is unravelling in India is part of a much wider narrative and history. In some ways, none of it should be surprising. Rent-seeking behavior among elites and the by State has been happening for ages and has manifested around the world. The harder thing to understand is when and how all of this will reach a flashpoint? What will be a watershed moment?

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