Research

Geert De Neve has a particular research interest in the following fields of study:

1) Geert’s research has focused on industrial work and the politics of labour in India's informal economy.  He has carried out extensive fieldwork in various informal sector industries in South India, and published a monograph on this topic, entitled The Everyday Politics of Labour: Working Lives in India’s Informal Economy (2005, Delhi: Social Science Press/Oxford: Berghahn), as well as a Reader and several articles. Geert also has a particular interest in the study of contemporary forms of unfree labour. and has researched bonded labour in Tamil Nadu’s powerloom industry.

2) Geert is interested in the impacts of economic liberalisation on Indian garment industries, and on the social dynamics of outsourcing. Geert is examining the effects of trade liberalisation on export industries and on communities employed in Tamil Nadu’s textile industry.  

3) Related to the above, Geert has an interest in the social politics of corporate social responsibility (CSR), NGO activism and corporate governance in the garment commodity chain. He has carried out research on the implementation of corporate codes of conduct and labour standards among south Indian garment manufacturers, with a particular focus on the politics of governance in the post-liberalisation era. He has also researched workers’ perspectives of neoliberal labour regimes.

4) Geert has more recently begun to study social protection policies in India, with a particular focus on India’s national rural employment guarantee scheme (MGNREGA) and Public Distribution Scheme (PDS).  He is currently researching the impacts of new digitaql and biometric technologies on the design and implementation of social protection programmes in India.

5) Geert has a broader interest in the changing politics of class, caste and kinship in the context of economic liberalisation in India.  His research examines both the rise of a new industrial middle class and the labouring poor.  

6) Geert also has a broader interest in urban space and urban property relations, especially as these take on new forms and meanings under contemporary processes of urban restructuring and emerging real estate markets in India.  

7) Finally, Geert has carried out research on electoral politics, democracy and citizenship in Tamil Nadu, and produced a report and article on this.                  

Geert has also contributed to the production of a number of policy briefings, including: 

G. De Neve and G. Carswell. 2013. Bonded labour in South Asia's textile industry: Findings from the south Indian powerloom sector. Global Insights No 7.

G. Carswell and G. De Neve. 2013. Employment guarantee as social protection: Lessons from Tamil Nadu, India. Global Insights No 6.

G. De Neve and M. Vijayabaskar. 2011. Worker welfare in export zones: Lessons from a garment cluster in south India. Global Insights No 3.

G. Carswell, J. Heyer and G. De Neve. 2010. Looking beyond the industrial cluster: The impacts of a south Indian garment cluster on rural livelihoods. Global Insights No 2.

G. De Neve and G. Carswell. 2010. Labouring for global markets: CSR lessons from a south Indian garment export cluster. Global Insights No 1.

Geert welcomes doctoral students interested in any of the above themes across any region of the world, and in any theme related to the study of South Asia.