ANR Programme 2009-2012
image of courtroom
A Joint Programme on Justice and Governance in India and South Asia
(Hosted by Centre for Himalayan Studies)

Aims of the Project

Aims of the Project

This research proposes to examine legal institutions (such as courts) as social institutions involving interactions between different actors and relations of power. It aims at placing legal processes within a particular social and cultural context and at explaining the manner in which these contexts influence outcomes.

in front of Mandi District Court complex

Our assumption is that the details of people's interactions, verbal exchanges and power relationships point to the everyday discourse of the law and to the ways in which state power is concretely implemented in contemporary India. There is an important intellectual and political stake in understanding the law not as a transcendental force that would apply equally to everybody, but as a potential for establishing truths and “justice” as part of the manifestation of the State’s power.

The project has also a comparative goal and will take into account South Asian Diasporas and the related judicial questions that may have arisen in Europe, North America and in Australia.