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Ashwani Saith

Ashwani Saith
Ashwani Saith

(India) has been a professor of rural economy at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague since 1981. He is also professor of development issues at the London School of Economics. Saith studied economics in the 1960s in Delhi and Cambridge and started in 1969 as junior researcher at the University of Delhi. In his academic career spanning forty years he has written an great number of books and articles on reform and development, focussing on agriculture in various Asian countries. He publishes regularly on international and domestic migration, notably in India and China. One of his latest books, written with two other scholars, is ICT's and Indian Social Change (2008), in which he takes a closer look on the effects of the information technology on the development of India.


Archive available for: Ashwani Saith

  • Winternachten 2009

    Five Do's and Don'ts for Barack Obama

    With: Ashwani Saith, Chantal Mouffe, Gündüz Vassaf, Michaël Zeeman, Naema Tahir, Nelleke Noordervliet

    Five writers and thinkers from four corners of the globe came together at Winternachten to provide Barack Obama with their do's and don'ts. After formulating their piece of advice students of the Institute of Social Studies reacted on the comments.
    Host Michaël Zeeman was surprised by the cynical and even activistic reaction of the students. Where the writers are eager and hopefull for the change this new president can bring, the students turned out to be very sceptical.

    Participants of the debate were writers Nelleke Noordervliet and Naema Tahir, the British-Belgian political philosopher Chantal Mouffe, Turkish writer and psychologist Gündüz Vassaf and development economist Ashwani Saith from India. They each formulated one piece of advice for Obama. Students of the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), hailing from southern countries, were to react to these recommendations. Once decided on, the following do's and dont's were shipped to the White House:

    Do's and don't's for Barack Obama Ashwani Saith:
    Palestine! Dismantle walls, build justice!
    Share a cigar with Fidel!
    Disarm! Transfer farm subsidies to African peasants
    Think of multilateralism, not neo-imperialism
    Confluence, not clash of civilisations
    Nurture nature, don't sell it
    Protect workers, not tycoons
    Social, not 'bastard' Keynesianism
    And, oh, yes - keep sharing your toys …
    Chantal Mouffe:
    Acknowledge that the world is multi-polar and that the US cannot behave any more as the sole legitimate centre of power. Diversity exists. Diversity and identity underpin everything.
    Gündüz Vassaf:
    Think also as a world citizen.
    Be bold, focus on right not re-election. Make peace, not war.
    You're a giant – tread lightly.
    Prioritise without partisanship: Israel/Palestine
    Nelleke Noordervliet:
    Appoint a court-jester who keeps telling you the truth.
    Be more a Philosopher-King than a King-Warrior
    Naema Tahir:
    Be the leader who inspires all to contribute to the good of society by encouraging the belief that good deeds and good behaviour rests in all
    Students of the Institute of Social Studies:
    Do no harm to foreign countries
    Don't be the leader of the world
    Don't impose yourself on others
    Remember the principles you had in your campaign
    Imagine other paradigms

    On Friday 1 May 2009 their will be a follow-up of the debate, in cooperation with the ISS, exacly 100 days after his inauguration.