Markets and Governance Processes

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Can the delivery of public goods be improved by the state ceding to markets? Will the
treatment of human beings and nature as commodities, as required by markets, improve
societal well-being? In an era when market principles are being imposed in public
administration as an alternative to perceived limitations of state bureaucracies, it is essential
to find an answer to these and other relevant questions.
The Centre for Policy Studies is interested in developing theoretical frameworks on the right
distribution of responsibilities between the state and market that can ensure equitable access
to public goods. Without discounting the role of markets in contemporary societies, CPS
believes practices that place undue trust in either states or markets should be critiqued with
more vigour.

Ongoing Work

Regulatory Governance

Innovative policy initiatives of governments in India have often been frustrated, if not defeated, in the last mile of their delivery. It is puzzling that these last mile policy failures continue despite presence of many favourable macro- as well as micro-conditions in the country in recent decades. The need to understand and resolve this last mile policy puzzle is now more urgent than ever and critical in developing countries due to aggravating external and internal challenges such as climate change, uncontrolled urbanisation, and imbalanced economic growth. Some of the specific areas being researched from the perspective of regulatory governance are: law and order, welfare distribution, provisioning of public goods and services, regulation of economic and social activities, delivery and regulation of infrastructure services, dissemination of new renewable energy technologies, and health-related policies and practices.

Business and Society

Increasingly the state is receding from providing welfare and expecting corporations to fill the void through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds. We seek to recognize the importance of developing perspectives that reduces the risks involved when placing the welfare of the weaker sections of a society at the complete mercy of profit-seeking entities. Corporate contributions to society while required, should not dominate welfare provision. The idea is to influence the theoretical and public debates and prescribe reasonable restrictions on the role of corporate philanthropy in public welfare.

Political Theology

Centre for policy studies recognizes the peaking of scholarly interest in the dialogue between politics and theology. Religion until recently relegated to private spaces by modernism has forcefully re-entered the public space (in the United States and India) wielding serious influence on public policies. Cosmologies specific to dominant theology of a country are influencing areas related to areas as distinct as climate change, food habits, and family. The attempt is to stud the relevance of political theology in India.

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