About the Centre
The Peace Studies Group of the Department of History, University of Calcutta, was established in 1995 with a financial grant from the Ford Foundation and infrastructural support from the University. It consists of a number of scholars in the University's History Department and others who are concerned with problems of conflict resolution in a historical perspective. It has emerged as a nodal agency in the eastern Indian region for coordinating policy analysis and research, teaching, formulating alternative strategies for Peace Studies and influencing opinion on issues relating to regional peace, sub-regional cooperation and traditional and non-traditional security issues. Its members contribute extensively to the press, hold seminars and participate in policy-discussion groups in Kolkata, Delhi and elsewhere on these issues. The Group operates from the Social Science Campus of the University, located adjacent to the National Library of India, which has the country's largest collection of books and journals, national Government Reports, United Nations documents and national and international newspapers. Drawing upon the continuing financial support of the Ford Foundation and the University Grants Commission's Special Assistance Programme in the University's History Department, the Peace Studies Group focuses on the following areas":
• Public Awareness Exercise
• Creation of a state of the art Library and Database in
Eastern India for Peace Studies.
The major research projects of the Peace Studies Group are:
(i) Traditional and Non-traditional sources of security: implications for South Asian regional politics
(ii) Ethnicity and nation-building in South Asia
(iii) Women and Peace in South Asia
(iv) Sub-regional Cooperation in South Asia
(v) Globalisation and Human Security in South Asia
(vi) Environmental Security in South Asia
(vii) Civil-Military Relations in South Asia: Implications for Good Governance and Civil Society
(viii) Post-colonial Indian politics and implications for Good Governance and Civil Society
(ix) The persistence of Cold War Perspectives in South Asia and Central Eurasia: The implications of Democratisation and Liberalisation in the region
From last year, the Peace Studies Group with Ford Foundation assistance has started offering Fellowships for students/young professionals undertaking doctoral research on issues related to the Peace Studies. Currently, nine scholars are engaged in Ph.D research underthis scheme. In offering these Fellowships preference is given to women candidates, young professionals and those from the backward social groups. Through this Ph.D. Fellowship scheme the Peace Studies Group hopes to involve students and young researchers in Peace Studies.
Since the academic year 2000-2001 the Peace Studies Group is offering an optional paper on Peace Studies at the(2 Year M.Phil course in the History Department of Calcutta University. The course is a comprehensive one covering both the theoretical and practical aspects of different issues related to the subject. In the post-graduate course in History, within the rubric of a compulsory course on International Relations, the students are also introduced to issues and problems related to peace and security. In collaboration with the History Department the Group proposes to start a self-financed postgraduate course on Contemporary History and International Relations from the next academic session (2006-2007). The central focus of the course will be Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies.
The Peace Studies Group has an active publication programme consisting of Occasional Papers and monographs.The following are some of the recent and important publications by members of the Group
Occasional Papers :
Suranjan Das, Regional Security Through Constructive Bilateralism: Prospects for Indo-Pak Economic Cooperation
Jayanta Kumar Ray, Towards an Optimum Management of Himalayan Waters
Jyoti Bhusan Dasgupta, Afghanistan 1979-1998
Hari Shankar Vasudevan, Revolution and Transition in Central Eurasia (1968-1996): The Making of Russian Foreign Policy
Madhurnita Majumdar, Elections and Government Formation in Eastern Europe and the USSR: A Chronicle of Events, February-June 1990
Basudeb Chattopadhyay, Partition and Migration: Perspectives on 1947
Bhaskar Chakrabarti, Living with the Partition: Collective Memory and the Politics of Illegal Migration in Eastern India
Shantanu Chakrabarti, The Eastern South Asia Sub-region: Potential for Sub-regional Cooperation
Prabir De, Regional Cooperation in Infrastructure Sector: A South Asian Perspective
Rajarshi Dasgupta, From Communaiism to Cultural Nationalism: Representations of Religious Politics in Contemporary Bengali Print Media
Boria Mazumdar, A Sporting Colony of Growing Global Capital: Globalisation and Indian Soccer
Bharati Ray, Women Making Peace: Documenting Movements in India and Bangladesh (forthcoming)
Bharati Ray, Women's Voice: Peace in India and Pakistan (forthcoming)
Basudeb Chattopadhyay, Civil-Military Relations: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (forthcoming)
Subho Basu and Suranjan Das (eds.) Electoral Politics in South Asia (Kolkata and London: 2000)
Suranjan Das, Kashmir and Sindh: Nation Building, Ethnicity and Regional Politics in South Asia (Kolkata and London: 2001)
Suranjan Das and Premangsu Kumar Bandyopadhyay (eds.) Food Movement of 1959: Documenting a Turning Point in the History of West Bengal (Kolkata: 2004)
Muntasir Mammon and Jayanta K. Ray (eds.) Civil Society in Bangladesh: Resilience and Retreat (Kolkata: 1996)
Jayanta .K Ray (ed.) India-Nepal Cooperation: Broadening Measures (Kolkata: 1997)
Jayanta K. Ray and B.K. Jahangir (eds.) India-Bangladesh Cooperation: Broadening Measures (Kolkata: 1997)
Jayanta K. Ray, India: In Search of Good Governance
Jayanta K. Ray and Prabir Bose (eds.) Promotion of Trade and Investment in Eastern South Asia Subregion (New Delhi: 2003)
Jayanta K. Ray and Prabir De (eds.) India and China in an era of Globalisation: Essays on Economic Cooperation
(New Delhi: 2005)
Bharati Ray & David Taylor (eds.) Politics and Identity in South Asia (Kolkata: 2001)
Bharati Ray (ed.) From the Seams of History: Essays on Indian Women (New Delhi: 1995)
Bharati Ray and Aparna Basu (eds.) From Independence Towards Freedom: Indian Women since 1947 (New Delhi: 1999)
Bharati Ray (ed.) Women and Politics: France, India and
Russia (Kolkata: 2000)
Hari Shankar Vasudevan, Sri Prakash and Mujid Alam (eds.) The Iraq Crisis and India's Option (New Delhi: 2004)
Hari Shankar Vasudevan, The Persistence of Indo-Russian Friendship in the post Cold War era (in press)
Bhaskar Chakrabarti (ed.) Exploring Regional Security:South and Central Asia (Kolkata: 2003)
Shantanu Chakrabarti, Cooperation in South Asia-the Indian Perspective (in press)
Public Awareness Exercise
The Group is involved with programmes to enhance public awareness.This is being done through undertaking of research projects, organising meetings/workshops and seminars and involvement of the members in Track II diplomacy and other civil society related regional peace initiatives in coordination with other city-based research institutions. Some members of the Group are regular participants in Wilton Park Conferences on Track-ll diplomacy and India-Pakistan Peoples' Forum conferences. Members are also associated with the leading national dailies as guest columnists.Through all these exercises the Group attempts to mould public opinion in favour of peace and cooperation in the region. Some members of the Peace Studies Group are also actively involved in regional development projects within the broader scheme of grassroots level Track II initiative. One such instance is the 'Prakalpa Nirdhan'. Based upon the famous Bangladesh Gramin Bank model, it engages itself in providing micro-finance help in three districts of West Bengal. The Peace Studies Group organizes an Outreach Program through which it has arranged;
i) Interactions with civil servants and members of NGOs in Nepal
ii) Interactions between Indian researchers on security issues and Russian policy advisors at the I1C (New Delhi)
iii) International seminars in India fat Jamia Millia islamia, New Delhi) and abroad (Moscow, Russia)
Creation of a state of the art Library and
in Eastern India for Peace Studies
The Group maintains a well-equipped library which is being further expanded to turn it into Eastern India's most useful information reservoir on peace related issues. Plans to expand the library and database now also involve a scheme to maintain a substantial internet-based database. The Peace Studies Group, for instance, has already become one among the few Indian institutions which is a subscriber to the Columbia International Affairs Online (C!AO) data base which is a large repository of books and journals related to conflict resolution and peace studies. The Peace Studies Group of the University of Calcutta has already been able to evoke interest amongst the scholarly community and the broader civil society in Kolkata and other parts of the eastern region. We look forward to further improving and expanding our activities through national and international connections to attain a significant breakthrough in the realms of Peace, Security and Good Governance, both intellectually and in terms of influencing popular opinion.
The Core Members of the Peace Studies Group of Calcutta University are :
(1) Professor Suranjan Das, MA(Cal), D.Phil. (Oxon) is Vice-Chancellor, Calcutta University, and Coordinator of the Group. He is a specialist in Identity Politics in South Asia, Popular Protest in South Asia, India's bilateral relations and South Asian cooperation. He is also a member of the University Grants Commission of India.
(2) Professor Bharati Ray MA (Cal), Ph.D. (Cal) is former Pro- Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Calcutta University, former Vice-Chairperson of West Bengal Higher Education Council and former Member of the Indian Parliament. She specialises on Women's Studies and Women and Peace in South Asia.
(3) Professor Jayanta Kumar Ray, MA (Cal), Ph.D. (Cal) is former Centenary Professor of International Relations of Calcutta University and currently Chairman, Maulana Azad Institute For Asian Studies, Kolkata. He is a specialist in Indian Foreign Policy and South and South-East Asian regional politics.
(4) Professor Hari Shankar Vasudevan, Ph.D. (Cantab) is a Professor in History Department, Calcutta University. He works on Russian and Central Asian affairs and principles of India's external relations in the twentieth century.
(5) Professor Basudeb Chattopadhyay, MA (Cal), Ph.D. (Cal) is Asutosh Professor of Medieval and Modern Indian History and Director of West Bengal State Archives. He works on the 1947 Partition Politics, social issues in contemporary India and Indo-Bangladesh relations.
(6) Professor Arun Bandopadhyay, MA (Cal), Ph.D. (Cal) is Nurul Hasan Professor of Social History and Dean, Faculty of Arts of Calcutta University. He works on Business and Science History of modern India and Environmental Issues in South Asia.
(7) Professor Bhaskar Chakrabarti, MA (Cal) is Centenary Professor of International Relations and Director of Centre For Social Sciences and Humanities, Calcutta University. He specialises on Partition Politics in the subcontinent and indo-Bangladesh relations.
(8) Dr. Shantanu Chakrabarti is Lecturer in History of Calcutta University. He works on India and South Asian Relations.
Associate Members of the Group are :
(1) Professor Rakhahari Chatterjee, Professor of Political Science, University of Calcutta.
(2) Professor Radharaman Chakrabarti, former Director, Netaji Institute for Asian Studies, Kolkata, and former Vice- Chancellor, Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata.
(3) Professor Jyotibhusan Dasgupta, formerly Professor of International Relations, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. reservoir on peace related issues. Plans to expand the library and database now also involve a scheme to maintain a substantial internet-based database. The Peace Studies Group, for instance, has already become one among the few Indian institutions which is a subscriber to the Columbia International Affairs Online (C!AO) data base which is a large repository of books and journals related to conflict resolution and peace studies.
The Peace Studies Group of the University of Calcutta has already been able to evoke interest amongst the scholarly community and the broader civil society in Kolkata and other parts of the eastern region. We look forward to further improving and expanding our activities through national and international connections to attain a significant breakthrough in the realms of Peace, Security and Good Governance, both intellectually