Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
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Borders, Diversity and Citizenship in India

With Gorky Chakraborty
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While the traditional understanding of citizenship and belonging in the Indian context has been changing in recent decades, this panel discussion will analyse some of the issues related to such contestations in India. It will mark the launch of the books by Gorky Chakraborty “Citizenship in Contemporary Times: The Indian Context” (Routledge, 2023) and “Negotiating Borders and Borderlands: The Indian Experience” (Orient Blackswan, 2023).


Welcome and introduction:

  • Graziella Moraes Silva, Co-Director, Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
  • Valérie Vulliez Boget, Deputy Secretary General in charge of political rights

Book presentation:

  • Gorky Chakraborty, Associate Professor at Institute of Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK), Kolkata, India


  • Lipin Ram, Postdoctoral Researcher, Bremen University



  • Christine Lutringer, Executive Director and Senior Researcher, Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy

Gorky Chakraborty, is an Associate Professor at Institute of Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK), Kolkata, India. He hails from the Brahmaputra valley in Assam and academically engages with development related issues on Northeast India. He is presently engaged with studies on citizenship, borderlands, river islands and regional studies.

This event takes place in the context of the Geneva Democracy Week as part of the programme organised by the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy.

Citizenship in Contemporary Times: The Indian Context, Routledge, 2023
This book engages with evolving issues of citizenship in the public discourse in the South Asian region. It discusses the anxieties around identity and the implications of and reactions to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in different regions in the country. It also interrogates the concepts of ownership and dissent through an analysis of the anti-CAA protests, the Namasudra movements, the life of Tibetan refugees in India and the precarious lives of many communities in India who are identified as stateless, refugees, migrants or outsiders. 

Negotiating Borders and Borderlands: The Indian Experience, Orient Blackswan, 2023
Borders have long been regarded as physical lines of demarcation, which mark the ‘other’ and group geographical spaces into territories and nation-States. However, can borders and borderlands move away from being mere State-defined markers? Can they exist simultaneously as gateways for trade and commerce while persisting as rigid institutions that disallow the movement of people from one part to another? Are some borders seen while others are only felt? From realpolitik to everyday lived experiences, the volume shows how these ascribed ‘in-between’ sites have their own stories to tell. 

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