Charaiveti: Journey From India To The Two Cambridges And Berkeley And Beyond, Part 11

by Pranab Bardhan All of the articles in this series can be found here. At age twenty-three, after a brief stint of teaching at Calcutta University, I, accompanied by Kalpana, proceeded to Britain on a Commonwealth Scholarship. The Scholars from different parts of India were asked to assemble in Delhi, from where we were to…

Charaiveti: Journey From India To The Two Cambridges And Berkeley And Beyond, Part 10

by Pranab Bardhan All of the articles in this series can be found here. Presidency College had a good Department of Economics and Political Science. I’d say that the teaching standard at my time there would compare quite favorably with the standard I found later when teaching undergraduate classes in Berkeley. I remember in my…

Charaiveti: Journey From India To The Two Cambridges And Berkeley And Beyond, Part 8

by Pranab Bardhan All of the articles in this series can be found here. Even though I arrived at Economics with the aim of interpreting history, it soon gave me a more general perspective. First, it showed me the value of precision and empirical testing in thinking about socially important issues. This immediately appealed to…

Charaiveti: Journey From India To The Two Cambridges And Berkeley And Beyond, Part 6

by Pranab Bardhan All of the articles in this series can be found here. One remarkable redeeming feature of my dingy neighborhood in Kolkata was that within half a mile or so there was my historically distinctive school, and across the street from there was Presidency College, one of the very best undergraduate colleges in…

Charaiveti: Journey From India To The Two Cambridges And Berkeley And Beyond, Part 4

by Pranab Bardhan All of the articles in this series can be found here. In my Kolkata neighborhood there was one kind of collective action that was unusually successful–this related to religious festivals. Every autumn there was a tremendous collective mobilization of neighborhood resources and youthful energy in organizing the local pujas for one deity…

Charaiveti: Journey From India To The Two Cambridges And Berkeley And Beyond, Part 3

by Pranab Bardhan All of the articles in this series can be found here. By the time I started regular school my father’s home-schooling had prepared me enough to sail through the various half-yearly and annual examinations relatively easily. Indian exams, certainly then and to a large extent even now, do not test your talent…

Prospects of Social Democracy in a Post-Pandemic World

by Pranab Bardhan Many social commentators in the claustrophobic gloom of their self-isolation have shown a tendency to write in somewhat feverish apocalyptic terms about the near future. Some of them expect the pre-existing dysfunctionalities of social and political institutions to accelerate in the post-pandemic world and anticipate our going down a vicious spiral. Others…

Her Voice amid Lurking Danger: Reflections on Some Recent Feminist Crime Novels

by Pranab Bardhan In contrast with other genres in literature, in crime fiction, which mainly started in the mid-19th century, women writers (and even women sleuths) became active around the same time as male writers and sleuths in their stories. By some accounts around the middle of 1860’s, both the first modern detective novels (by…

The Achilles Heel of Liberal Democracy

by Pranab Bardhan Many find fault with liberal democracy because it exacerbates inequality, particularly when wedded to unbridled capitalism. But inequality has been rampant in authoritarian countries as well, with or without capitalism. Many non-capitalist countries in actual history have been friendly neither to liberty nor equality, never mind the soaring rhetoric, whereas some liberal…