Géographie du développement

Sujet de Thèse

Deliberating Digital Democracies : Citizens and Civic Participation in Smart Cities

Directeur de thèse : Marie-Hélène Zérah


• “Food in the Smart City”, International Big History Association Conference, Symbiosis International University, with Srushti Borkar and Siddharth Desarda (March 2018)

• “Food in the Smart City”, DePaul University, Chicago (May 2018)

• “Food : Who Gets a Seat at the Table”, Global Asia Studies Centre, DePaul University, Chicago (May 2018)

• “Contemporary Student Politics in India”, School of Social Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (May 2018)

• “Student Politics : Movements and Mobilization in Contemporary India” at 6th French Network of Asian Studies International Conference, Sciences Po, Paris (June 2017)

• “The Indian University Campus as a Site of Politics ? Literature Review and Theoretical Considerations” (With Jean-Thomas Martelli) at 6th French Network of Asian Studies International Conference, Sciences Po, Paris (June 2017)

• “Disability and Inclusion in Liberal Arts Education” at ‘Future of Liberal Arts and Science Education’, Symbiosis International University, Pune (May 2016)

• (With Jean-Thomas Martelli) on “The Organizational Vote : Making sense of Political Socialization in an Indian Campus” at British Association of South Asian Studies Annual Conference, University of Cambridge (April 2016)

• “Towards a Cultural Polity – a new paradigm on cultural rights” at UGC-funded National Seminar on Human Rights, Department of Civics and Politics, University of Mumbai (February 2011)

• ‘An Audit of the NREGS – Economic and Political Perspectives’, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai (2011)

• “Indian Democracy : Strengths and Weaknesses” ICSSR-CCD International Conference, Vadodara (March 2013)


• Parkar, Khaliq and Jean-Thomas Martelli (eds.), Student Movements and Mobilization in India (Forthcoming 2020\2021)

• ‘Diversity, Democracy, and Dissent : A Study on Student Politics in JNU’, (with Jean-Thomas Martelli), Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 53, No. 11 (March 2018)

• Review, ‘Subaltern Urbanisation in India : An Introduction to the Dynamics of Ordinary Towns, Exploring Urban Change in South Asia’, Environment and Urbanization ASIA, Vol. 9 Issue 1 (March 2018)

• Deliberately Misleading : Towards an inclusive process of Deliberative Democracy’ in Democracy in India : Strengths and Weaknesses. Primus Books : New Delhi (2017)

• ‘Slick Illusions’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 50, No. 37. (Sept 2015)

Résumé de thèse

The Smart Cities Mission marks a new phase in Indian’s urban development policy. Launched in 2015, the Mission aims at creating a hundred citizen-friendly and sustainable cities through technology-led urban renewal. To do so, the policy uses the vocabulary of increased democratization and people’s participation through digital tools.

I aim to understand how the Smart Cities in its technocratic method for democratic participation is significantly different in its approach towards citizenship and governance. My thesis attempts to understand how ‘smart’ tools function in the contexts of digital literacy, privacy, municipal networks and parastatal agencies. I also aim to understand whether such interventions are inclusive or exclusionary in terms of deliberation and decision making.
I am largely interested in exploring how residents and governance networks negotiate with each other through technological interventions in shaping a new conception of digital citizenship in the imaginations of India’s urban futures.