Social Science research in the North-Eastern region continues to focus on the traditional concerns of border trade, local administration, tribal customs and governance, regional movements, migration and insurgencies so on and so forth. Whatever little literature we have on the new policy thinking serves as an official apologia and are a commissioned researches to privilege any particular finding and hardly betrays any critical engagement with the new social realties. It is time that social scientists address these questions: How much of the new policy thinking is going to benefit the North-East? Will the rest of India benefit from it at the cost of the North-East, as it is sometimes feared? What will its impact be on the ethnic scenario? Will it trigger off a new series of claims to group rights? Will it make insurgencies 'disappear' instead of solving them - as a commentator would have us believe? How is the new policy thinking going to address the traditional problems of poverty and unemployment? The impact of these forces and processes of globalization is felt almost in every Social Science discipline – Literature, Cultural Studies and Cultural Anthropology, Political Science and International Politics, Social and Political Geography, Political Economy, Sociology and Social Philosophy, Ecology and Area Studies etc.
This book tries to review social science research in the North-Eastern region – status reports on various social science disciplines, formulating a new research agenda, identifying possible priority areas and highlighting the coping strategies.
This volume is the outcome of a national seminar held on 27-28 March 2009 at the ICSSR North-Eastern Regional Centre, Shillong and it calls for wider readership cutting across the academia, activists and policy makers.