Focus Areas

CPR’s community of distinguished academics and practitioners represents views from many disciplines and across the political spectrum. Senior faculty collaborate with more than 50 young professionals and academics at CPR and with partners around the globe to investigate topics critical to India’s future.

CPR engages around five broad themes, and faculty and their research often span several of these topics.

How does the Indian state engage with the international system? What kinds of policies is it adopting to preserve and advance its identity and interests, security and power? What do these policies portend for the regional and global architectures of international politics? This program examines both the traditional domains of foreign and security policies and the non-traditional challenges confronting the Indian state. It also focuses on the material, ideational and institutional foundations underpinning these policies and approaches. Drawing on conceptual, historical and comparative tools, the program seeks at once to analyze existing policies and to present practicable alternatives.

How does the Indian State function in practice? How can its functioning be made more effective, accountable and just? This programme examines the normative, empirical and theoretical considerations that are relevant to understanding the state. It examines both formal institutions and processes, but also the way in which the state is embedded in larger social, political and economic contexts. Law is central to the identity, legitimacy and functioning of states. How do we understand the evolution of law in India? What are the forces, institutional, social, or political that shape it? In particular, is there a new regulatory architecture emerging that redefines the state’s role, and leads to the creation of new institutional forms?

The urban programme at CPR deals with 4 broad themes

(a) Urban Governance: This includes, inter alia, research on governance models for large metropolitan areas, the nature of political representation in urban areas, the extent of devolution to local government, especially within the context of the JNNURM and the governance of urban areas with non-representative administrations, e.g. Special Economic Zones, Industrial Townships and similar areas.

(b) Urban Drinking Water Supply: This focuses on the institutional impediments and environment that affect the supply of water to urban areas, especially in situations where the source is not a significant constraint.

(c) Urban Economy: This theme looks at the organization of economic activity, both within the city and the across cities, with a view to uncovering trends in patterns of agglomeration and the relationship between the formal and informal nature of economic activity and the functionality of the city as a economic, social, political and institutional entity.

(d) Urbanisation and Climate Change: This area recognizes that the form of urban areas and the behaviour of urban residents are critical to the evolution of energy and resource consumption in the future and that these patterns are not just a result of urban policy but also related to broader economic and social policy and the development of cultural trends.