Global India European Training Network

In the next 15 years, India is projected to become the world’s third largest economy and the next e-commerce giant.  India as a key player in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), is facing territorial disputes and the impact of global environmental pressures on coastal and marine resources. India is also facing challenges to the development of its democracy – a radical shift in its political party system and ongoing major social challenges in the context of its rapid economic growth.

In spite of the potential importance of India for Europe, the European research community’s expertise on India is weak, with a shortage of PhDs in this area and with few modules on India being taught on either undergraduate or postgraduate programmes. The increasing importance of India as a world economic and political power means that Europe needs to train a new generation of experts who understand the political, economic and social developments in India, have experience of living and working in the country, and have the cultural awareness, languages and research skills necessary to observe and analyse how India’s engagement with the world is changing.

The network is participating in the creation of the knowledge and expertise required for the EU’s engagement with the new global India. It brings together six leading European universities, with six leading Indian universities, and six non-university partners (one as a beneficiary) to develop an integrated, multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral PhD programme.

The programme strategy is to provide an integrated training programme that develops research skills along with complementary skills associated with an awareness of the needs of potential non-academic employers and the capacity to translate information and analysis into a variety of forms to suit the needs of a range of recipients. It also aims to make researchers culturally aware and adaptable both in terms of their capacity to move between India and Europe and also to move between different work environments. This will provide researchers with a set of transferable skills that can be adapted to other regional contexts and global relationships. Its capacity to do this is based on interdisciplinary research teams in Europe and India. These teams in a number of different configurations have a track record of working together. Most European and Indian academics in the network already work in interdisciplinary environments rather than traditional departments. The interaction with non-academic sectors is central to the Network and its training process, and non-academic partners will be fully integrated into the training of the researchers from the beginning so that at all times researchers will be aware of, and will have to work with, public policy, commercial and advocacy perspectives.

The Focus

The focus of the programme incorporates the triple ‘I’ dimension of the European Commission Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training in Europe

International: The Research Fellows will spend an extended period at an Indian university and conducting field research under the supervision of one of our partner Indian universities. All training events will be international in scope and supervisory panels will have an international mix.

Interdisciplinarity: The programme involves existing interdisciplinary research teams. Joint supervisory arrangements between experts from different disciplinary backgrounds including – International Political Economy (IPE), business, international law, international relations, environmental studies, gender studies, security, and foreign policy analysis will provide an interdisciplinary support structure for all Fellows.

Intersectoral: Non-academic experts will be fully integrated through –

  • Secondary supervision and mentorship of the Fellows
  • Active participation in all the main training events
  • Providing all Fellows with placements in non-university organisations

Research Programme Overview

India’s actions as a global power are central to the interests of the EU. In contrast to China, India is a democratic state that could potentially be an ally for the EU on international issues that will impact on the welfare and security of Europe. This research programme is based on the understanding that India’s internationally focused actions and policy will be shaped by its internal development, and how it deals with its internal challenges, as well as regional and international factors. It therefore simultaneously examines the key domestic challenges and the key international actions of India that are most relevant to its relationship with Europe. Several of the individual projects cross this divide and link India’s domestic policy processes to its external actions. The project also moves away from viewing India as a single state to exploring the impact of its federal structure on policy outcomes and on its international engagement. To reflect this conceptualisation of India, the research has four themes. The first deals with the challenges for the quality of Indian democracy and its problems of social inequality. The second deals with external economic relations and trade and the third deals with Indian foreign policy and security policy focusing on India as a regional power as well as its relationship with the EU. Global environmental politics is the fourth topic – an issue of major concern to the EU and a problem for all developing economies. The ‘Global India’ project will be recruiting PhD fellows for each of these topics. Fellowships will be advertised in April with a deadline in May. The fellows will be enrolled in the European Universities in the network and each participating university will advertise the fellowships separately.

Indian democracy and social inequality

Gender and political parties in India: pathways to women’s political participation? (DCU)

Gender inequality is a major aspect of social inequality. The project deals with political parties as gatekeepers to women in political office and positions of influence – a policy area with major international linkages and policy frameworks, that can draw India into global debates.

Cooperative Federalism: Centre-state relations in the development of social policy in India (KCL)

Grounded in the diversity in social policy between different Indian states, it examines the changing relationship between state and federal level in this policy area. What balance is most likely to produce progressive change?

State and Redistributive Politics in India (Heidelberg)

Theorises the relationship between State and Society in India as evidenced in an analysis of state-led poverty alleviation programmes and grassroots self-help groups and anti-poverty campaigns. It assesses projections of future paths to poverty alleviation and obstacles to poverty alleviation.

The diffusion of regulatory governance in India (IBEI)

Analyses the shift in regulatory governance of the economy in India under the influence of international policy diffusion and the impacts of those changes. The changing regulatory framework has implications for economic and trade relations with the EU.

State response to internal violent conflict (DCU)

Levels of internal conflict in India are related to problematic aspects of Indian democracy and social inequality as well as to secessionist and border conflicts. On-going violent conflict is an obstacle to India’s development. This project analyses the causes of conflict, state responses and the impacts of those responses.

India and global environmental politics

Energy security and sustainable development: conflicting priorities in EU-India relations (DCU)

Analyses the potential areas of conflict between the EU and India. From this basis examines potential areas of agreement that can be built on, or areas in which co-operation could develop.

India and the politics of climate change: Examining urban governance and adaptation in the face of climate change (Heidelberg)

Focus on analysis of policy formulation processes in the Indian state. It identifies stakeholders and the political economy of the policy process. Seeks to identify the different interests involved in the formulation of India’s environmental policy.

External economic relations and trade

Understanding the development of business culture in India: an analysis of the content and the impact of business education from 1960 to present (KUL)

How are these different epistemologies, values and ideologies being negotiated and reconciled in the making, evolvement and practices of the management institutes in the period 1970 to present?

EU-Indian Trade negotiations: barriers to progress and opportunities (Warsaw)

Complementing the historic analysis of the project above, this project is situated in the current trade negotiation processes and presents an analysis of the dynamics and key actors in this relationship, and explicitly links domestic and geo-political factors to policy and process outcomes.

EU-India relations in Global Economic Governance (KUL)

Complementary to the projects on trade relations, this project examines EU-India relations in the institutions of international global economic governance – the IMF, the WTO, and the G20. It examines the key sources of conflict and cooperation, focusing on collaboration between the EU and India.

Cross-border acquisition of high-tech Indian firms, and its impact on job creation in the Indian economy (DCU)

Analyses cross-border acquisitions of indigenous, high-tech Indian firms and its subsequent impact on the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem and level of job creation in the Indian economy.

External relations – foreign and security policy

India’s foreign aid policy (DCU)

India has moved from being a recipient of aid to being a donor. What are the strategic reasons for promoting a development programme? How is the development programme rationalised in the context of domestic conditions?

The making of EU foreign policy towards India (IBEI)

This project provides a temporal analysis of key decisions in EU policy-making towards India, identifying the dominant actors and their relative success in influencing policy outcomes. It discusses how important India is in EU strategic thinking and what shapes the EU’s perceptions of India.

India’s Strategic Concerns in the Indian Ocean Region (Warsaw)

Focuses on India as a regional power. It analyses the sources of tension with China, Pakistan, and other actors with maritime interests. It also conceptualises and discusses the usefulness of the idea of an Indian Ocean Region.

Investigating the role of domestic politics in shaping Indian Foreign Policy (KCL)

Analyses the impact of domestic factors on key decisions pertaining to foreign and security affairs in India, by adopting an interdisciplinary prism. It examines the relationship between political parties and policy outcomes through instances of major foreign policy change from the recent past.