Dignity Through Discourse


Wednesday, October 21, 2009 (All day)


124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Poverty and the Culture of Deliberation in Indian Village Democracies

Vijayendra Rao, Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

About the Seminar
In this seminar, Vijayendra (Biju) Rao will examine transcripts of village meetings (gram sabhas) in South India, to demonstrate how boundaries of caste and status are breached within them, and definitions of poverty and beneficiary selection understood and interrogated. The session will outline how discursive skills and civic agency are acquired and deployed by the poor in a quest for dignity.

You can watch an introductory video here.

You can watch the seminar here.

About Vijayendra Rao
Dr. Rao combines his training in economics with an interest in anthropology and social theory. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, served as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, and taught at the University of Michigan and Williams College before joining the World Bank. He serves on the editorial boards of Economic Development and Cultural Change and the Journal of Development Studies.

About the Democracy Seminar Series
The Democracy Seminar Series brings distinguished speakers to Harvard Kennedy School for the academic year address critical challenges facing democratic governance.