Welcome to Marginal Populations, Social Mobilisation & Development, a thematic partnership between the University of Edinburgh and the TATA Institute of Social Sciences.


Development and exclusion processes in India are intertwined with social identities, and the social processes underlying such changes remain unclear at the local level. 

This thematic collaboration helps link the processes of globalisation and growth-centric development to their varied impacts on Dalits, Scheduled Tribes and Muslims through comparative linked research. Further, it investigates the political manifestations of responses to opportunities as well as resistance to threats of these populations in individual and collective forms. Investigations into their deprivations, blockages to fuller participation and resistance in global, national, local and virtual forms contributes to developing theoretical linkages between social identities and development.

The collaboration aimed to foster a long-term research and capacity building programme between the TISS and Edinburgh University with its focus on marginalized populations, their mobilizations within the larger context of growth centric development strategy in India.

Studying how ‘development’ is experienced and perceived by marginal populations as well as studying their varied response offers an opportunity to understand their developmental impact. The work programme was organised around thematic workshops, development of joint research proposals and engagement workshops with activists and policy makers.

This innovative collaboration strives to help international and national development agencies in their development efforts of creating a just and equitable society, as well as aid development theory in moving beyond growth imperatives to identify and appreciate diverse development processes and aspirations. In the long run, this thematic collaboration will extend beyond India focus to explore comparative dimensions of Social Identities, Development and Social Mobilisation.

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