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Dr Deval Desai joined Edinburgh Law School in 2020 as Lecturer in International Economic Law. His work focuses on law and development, administrative law and regulation, (de)colonial patterns of knowledge and authority, and theories of the state in the Global South.

Event details of Reversing the Gaze: Building a Theory of Administrative State Forms from the Global South
Date 17 May 2021
Time 15:30 -17:00

Abstract

In India, tens of trillions of rupees in special-purpose social welfare funds lie unspent, unappropriated, and in some cases not even gathering interest. They sit in a range of different coffers, intermittently noticed by public audits and court cases. What can this dead money tell us about the form of the administrative state in India? Is it possible to make broader theoretical claims about forms of the state through such an example from the South? And can such claims travel and be put to explanatory use in administrative states of the Global North?

Part of a four-year project, “Reversing the Gaze”, which explores the effects on comparative practices when Europe is analysed through concepts of and developed in the South, this talk builds an account of the Indian state through these unspent funds. It then briefly maps this account onto the case of unspent European Social Funds in Italy, to explore its empirical and conceptual purchase and limitations as it travels Northwards.

The circulated paper is the product of pilot work, on which the talk will build.

Speaker

Dr Deval Desai joined Edinburgh Law School in 2020 as Lecturer in International Economic Law. His work focuses on law and development, administrative law and regulation, (de)colonial patterns of knowledge and authority, and theories of the state in the Global South. He has taught on these topics on the European Joint Doctorate in Law and Development; the interdisciplinary masters programs at the Graduate Institute, Geneva; Harvard's Institute for Global Law and Policy; and as a visiting professor at Manchester, Northeastern Law School, SOAS, and the Universidad de los Andes.

Deval previously held research positions at Harvard Law School and the Graduate Institute -- where he helped establish and coordinate the Global Scholars’ Academy, to support collaboration and mentorship among junior faculty in the Global South. Deval serves on the editorial board of the Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, the Emerging Scholars Forum of Global Perspectives, and previously sat on the editorial board of the Harvard International Law Journal.