Andy Sumner is a co-director of the Institute. He is an inter-disciplinary development economist with research interests in the fields of global poverty, economic development and inequality with reference to middle income and emerging economies. His primary regional focus is Southeast Asia and Indonesia in particular. In 2011 he was listed in ‘Foreign Policy’ magazine’s ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers’. More on Andy Sumner.
Peter Kingstone is a co-director of the Institute. His research interests include: comparative politics and political economy; economic development; political institutions and policy-making; democratization; Latin American politics. His most recent book The Political Economy of Latin America: Reflections on Neoliberalism and Development (Routledge, 2010) explores why policy reforms often fail to live up to the expectations of reformers. More about Peter Kingstone.
The MA programme offers students an introduction to domestic and international issues in Brazil today, as well as analytical tools for understanding the dynamics of change and continuity from historical, global, and cross-country perspectives, especially in relation to two other BRICs, China and India, as well as Latin America. We feel that one of the most attractive aspects of this MA is the ability students will have to put developments in Brazil in context, while studying in a dynamic global city.
The programme's two core modules are Contemporary Brazil, a broad overview of contemporary social, economic, and political issues, and Brazil and the World, a historical survey of how Brazilians have engaged with the world, and been seen by outsiders, since the country's independence. My optional module Brazilian Government and Politics is designed to complement these core modules by introducing students to Brazil's recent (post-1960) political history, political institutions, and a selection of contemporary political issues. This module draws directly on my three decades of engagement with Brazil, which began when I was a post-graduate student. My current research project builds on my book Political (In)justice (published as Ditadura e Repressão in Brazil) to explore new institutions of accountability in the area of human rights in Brazil. In the course of the MA, I will help students to acquire the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological tools to do their own research on this gigantic, exuberant, complex, and fast-changing country.
The Institute's first taught degree, the MA Modern India, is a unique postgraduate course designed at once to engage students with this complex, fascinating and pivotal country, and to use the study of contemporary India as an intellectual laboratory through which to focus global theoretical and policy questions. Thus, India's specificities – whether concerning for instance, the country's democratic politics, its environmental predicaments and entrepreneurial forms, its security issues and dilemmas of secularism, its urban and public health problems, its varieties of cultural production and consumption, its economic growth and diverse social change, the role of its media, and consequences of its science and technology policy choices – will be explored in relationship to more general theoretical, political and policy perspectives.
The MA degree's intellectual foundation rests on two core courses that I will be involved in teaching. One examines India's economy, polity and society since 1947; the other surveys thematic and conceptual perspectives on modern India (encompassing for instance, nationalism, democracy, the state, law).Additionally, students have the option to pursue various specializations: politics; security and strategic studies; history, society & culture; history and policy of science and technology; media and journalism; and urban studies. Across these strands, our approach at the Institute is to study India in cross-disciplinary and problem-focused ways. The MA will thus equip our graduates to pursue diverse careers relating to India - whether in the academy, government, business, media and civil society.
The India Institute has strong links with India's universities and research institutions, government, private sector, media and civil society, and students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities these offer. In addition, the India Institute is richly immersed in the intellectual and cultural life of the great city in which it stands – London, a city that is historically and still today the cultural nexus of the West and India.