Science transfer: Merian Center ICAS:MP launches two book series
ICAS:MP in New Delhi is one of the five Merian Centres funded by the BMBF with the aim of internationalizing German science and promoting bilateral and multilateral exchange in the humanities and social sciences. Recently it has launched two book series in collaboration with two international academic publishers of the highest repute - Cambridge University Press and Routledge.
First of all: ICAS:MP is the abbreviation for the slightly complicated name of the Merian Centre in New Delhi: The M.S. Merian - R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies "Metamorphoses of the Political" (ICAS:MP). The research collaboration consists of six Indian and German institutions and brings together more than 80 scholars from different disciplines. It promotes sustainable research collaboration between leading social scientists and humanities scholars from India, Germany and other countries working on similar research questions, though not necessarily in the same region.
"Metamorphoses of the Political"
The history of the Indian subcontinent provides rich research material for examining how "the political" is expressed in various areas that transcend the nation-state and cover an increasing number of sectors of society. Considering this history from a comparative perspective serves to broaden the empirical basis of the current debate around the 'political', which has so far focused predominantly on North Atlantic communities. The 'political' is understood as the realm of conflicting views and controversial negotiations about the shape of modern society.
The Merian Centre's academic focus is on the political aspects of historiography, labour relations, movements to renew democratic systems, normative conflicts, gender relations, growth and distribution, and media in the 20th century. As such, it serves as a centre for advanced international research rather than another initiative to strengthen "area studies". To disseminate the insights gained, ICAS:MP publishes two book series in collaboration with two international academic publishers of the highest repute - Cambridge University Press and Routledge (earlier with SAGE Publications).
ICAS:MP – Cambridge University Press Series
Metamorphoses of the Political: Multidisciplinary Approaches
Instead of the political system or politics in the narrow sense, the series seeks to explore questions of what constitutes the ‘political’ in the contemporary world. It concentrates on multiple ways of discerning the political: shifts in the articulation of civil society and social movements, including an engagement with ecological challenges; the politicisation of law and rights, the drive for the democratisation of democracy, including changes in democratic procedures, and the diversification of forms of governance amongst state and non-state actors. Forms of labour, patterns of social and political exclusion, questions of recognition and justice are covered, especially in relation to distinctive forms of social and cultural stratification and gendered experience. In all of this, the place of media in the politics of governmentality, communication, mobilization and in the shifting registers of a political that is distinctively sensorial is an emergent concern. The series seeks to nurture and encourage a body of work that incorporates innovative social science research on contemporary India as well as the Global South on the above themes.
‘The series is oriented primarily towards the academic market, though some volumes will be appropriate as supplementary reading material at the graduate level. Some will also be of interest to governments and practitioners, developmental consultants and others’, explained Debjani Mazumder, Publisher of ICAS:MP. ‘We have already published eight titles in this series that have received a lot of attention in the scholarly and academic circles, and have many more exciting ones in the forthcoming list’.
ICAS:MP – Routledge Open Access Series
Politics and Society in Indian and the Global South
Following the mandate to make research accessible, this series is published Open Access. It aims to publish books that explores core issues that are of concern in modern globalized societies. This series mainly features edited volumes that offer cross-disciplinary insights where collaboration of many top-ranking scholars on a single topic ensures state-of-the field studies. ‘These volumes are highly focussed with contributing chapters that are linked to the overarching theme of the respective volumes. A strong Introduction not only introduces the chapters and draws linkages between them, but brings new ideas and insights to the fore’, says Mazumder. Eight volumes have been published in this series. She adds, ‘going forward, this series is moving to Routledge. All our new books – we have a large number in our pipeline - will be published by Routledge and we are really excited about our new collaboration’.
‘The biggest strength of the two series is the stellar Editorial Board with scholars representing different regions and disciplines. This brings a truly multidisciplinary focus to our publications,’ says Dr Laila Abu-Er-Rub, Scientific Manager of ICAS:MP.
M.S. Merian R. Tagore Centre in Delhi
Opened in 2015, the ‚M. S. Merian – R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies‘ (ICAS:MP) in Delhi was the first center for advanced studies in the humanities and social sciences outside of Europe to be funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research. Since its inception, researchers from the Universities of Erfurt, Göttingen and Würzburg as well as from the German Historical Institute London worked together with their colleagues from India to establish the research center that focusses on the “Metamorphoses of the Political in the Long Twentieth Century”. The Merian Centre's academic focus is on the political aspects of historiography, labour relations, movements to renew democratic systems, normative conflicts, gender relations, media, and growth and distribution in the 20th century.