Research

Geert De Neve has a particular interest in the following 8 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, including:

De Neve, G and G. Carswell. 2014. T-shirts and Tumblers: Caste, Politics and Industrial Work in Tiruppur’s Textile Belt, South India. Contributions to Indian Sociology 48(1): 103-131.

M. Mollona, G. De Neve and J.P. Parry (eds.). 2009. Industrial Work and Life: An Anthropological Reader. LSE Monographs in Social Anthropology 78.Oxford: Berg Publishers, pp. 482.  

De Neve, G. 2008. Global garment chains, local labour activism: New challenges to trade unionism and NGO activism in the Tiruppur industrial cluster, South India. Research in Economic Anthropology, Vol 28, pp. 213-240.

De Neve, G. 2004. The Workplace and the Neighbourhood: locating masculinities in the south Indian textile industry. In South Asian Masculinities. F. Osella, C. Osella and R. Chopra (eds.).New Delhi: Kali for Women (Women Unlimited), pp. 60-95.

De Neve, G. 2001. Towards an Ethnography of the Workplace: Hierarchy, Authority and Sociability on the South Indian Textile Shop Floor. South Asia Research 21(2): 133-160.

 

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.  Publications on this topic include:

De Neve, G. 2014. Entrapped Entrepreneurship: Labour Contractors in the South Indian Garment Industry. Modern Asian Studies 48(5): 1302-1333.

G. Carswell and G. De Neve. 2013. Labouring for Global Markets: Conceptualising Labour Agency in Global Production Networks. Geoforum 44(1): 62-70.

De Neve, G. 2005. Weaving for IKEA in South India: subcontracting, labour markets and gender relations in a global value chain. In Fragments of Globalisation. C.J. Fuller and J. Assayag (eds.).London: Anthem Press, pp. 89-115.

De Neve, G. 2003. Expectations and Rewards of Modernity: commitment and mobility among rural migrants in Tirupur, South India. Contributions to Indian Sociology 37(1&2): 251-280.

 

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.

De Neve, G. 2013. ‘Fordism, Flexible Specialisation and CSR: How Indian garment workers critique neoliberal labour regimes. Ethnography 15(2): 184-207.

De Neve, G., Luetchford, P. and Pratt, J. 2008. Introduction: Revealing the Hidden Hands of Global Market Exchange. In Research in Economic Anthropology, Volume 28, pp.1-30.

De Neve, G., P. Luetchford, J. Pratt and D. Wood (eds.). 2008. Hidden Hands of the Market: Ethnographies of fair trade, ethical consumption and corporate social responsibility. Research in Economic Anthropology, Annual Research Volume 28, pp.324.

De Neve, G. 2009. Power, Inequality and Corporate Social Responsibility: The Politics of Ethical Compliance in the South Indian Garment Industry. Economic and Political Weekly Vol XLIV, No 22, May 30, pp.63-71.

 

4) Geert has a particular interest in the study of contemporary forms of unfree labour. He has researched bonded labour in Tamil Nadu’s powerloom industry, which resulted in the following publications:

G. Carswell and G. De Neve. 2013. From Field to factory: Tracing transformations in bonded labour in the Tiruppur region, South India. Economy and Society 42(3): 430-454.

De Neve, G. 1999. Asking for and giving baki: neo-bondage, or the interaction of bondage and resistance in the Tamilnadu power-loom industry. Contributions to Indian Sociology 33, 1&2, 379-406.

 

5) 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).  He has published a number of articles on this:

Carswell, G. and G. De Neve. 2014. MGNREGA in Tamil Nadu: A story of success and transformation? Journal of Agrarian Change 14(4): 564-585.

Carswell, G. and G. De Neve. 2013. Women at the Crossroads: A village study of MGNREGA implementation in Tamil Nadu. Economic and Political Weekly Vol XLVIII, No 52, December, pp. 82-93.

De Neve, G. and G. Carswell. 2011. NREGA and the Return of Identity Politics in Western Tamil Nadu, India. Forum for Development Studies 38(2): 2005-2010, pp. 205-2010.

 

6) 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.  Some of his articles on this include:

De Neve, G. 2015 (in press). The Economies of Love: Love Marriage, Kin Support and Aspiration in a South Indian Garment City. Modern Asian Studies

De Neve, G. and G. Carswell. 2015 (in press). Litigation Against Political Organisation? The politics of Dalit mobilisation against Gounder dominance in Western Tamil Nadu. Development and Change.

De Neve, G. 2011. 'Keeping it in the family': work, education and gender hierarchies among Tiruppur's capitalist industrialists. In H. Donner (ed), A Way of Life: Being Middle Class in Contemporary South Asia.London: Routledge, pp. 73-99.

De Neve, G. and H. Donner. 2011. Introduction. In H. Donner (ed), A Way of Life: Being Middle Class in Contemporary South Asia.London: Routledge, pp. 1-22. 

De Neve, G. 2008. We are all sondukarar (relatives)!’: Kinship and its morality in an urban industry of Tamil Nadu, south India. Modern Asian Studies 42(1): 211-246.   

De Neve, G. 2000. Patronage and ‘Community’: the role of a Tamil ‘village’ festival in the integration of a town. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 6(3): 501-519.

 

7) 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.  Publications on this include an edited volume:

De Neve, G. and H. Donner (eds.). 2006. The Meaning of the Local: The Urban Neighbourhood in India.London: Routledge, pp. 238. [Published in paperback in 2011]

De Neve, G. 2006. Economic Liberalisation, Class Restructuring and Social Space in Provincial South India. In The Meaning of the Local: Politics of Place in Urban India. G. De Neve and H. Donner (eds). London: Routledge, pp. 21-43.

Donner, H. and G. De Neve. 2006. Space, place and globalisation: revisiting the urban neighbourhood in India. In De Neve, G. and H. Donner (eds.). The Meaning of the Local: The Urban Neighbourhood in India.London: Routledge, pp. 1-20.

 

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

De Neve, G. and G. Carswell. 2015 (in press). Litigation Against Political Organisation? The politics of Dalit mobilisation against Gounder dominance in Western Tamil Nadu. Development and Change.

Carswell, G. and G. De Neve. 2014. Why Indians Vote: Reflections on Rights, Citizenship and Democracy from a Tamil Nadu village. Antipode (Available on Early View: DOI: 10.1111/anti.12081).

Carswell, G. and G. De Neve. 2009. Tamil Nadu Election Report, India, 2009. Unset.

                  

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, or in any other theme related to the study of South Asia.

His current doctoral students include:

Layla Zaglul – Fair Trade Banana versus Dollar Banana: A study of a neo-colonial relationship in Costa Rica

Andrew Pickup – Microfinance in South Africa

Tabatha Kittrell - The Politics of Alternative Consumption; Notions of Citizenship and Forms of Engagement in the American Midwest.

Titiksha Shukla - NREGA, land and livelihoods in Maharashtra, India

His past doctoral students include:

Aleksandar Dimitrowski – Remaking Industrial Labour in Post-Communist Macedonia (awarded 2016)

Tom Chambers - ‘Carving out Niches’: Informality, Work & Migration in a Muslim Craft Community of North India (awarded 2015)

Smita Yadav – Living with Constraints: The Impact of Forest Restrictions and Stone Quarry Closures on the Gonds of Central India (submitted)

Suhas Bhasme - The Politics of Participation: A Study of Water Users Associations in Western India (submitted)

Sancho David - Education and exclusion in Kerala (awarded 2012)

Amich Alhumami - Corruption and Anti-corruption in Indonesia (awarded 2012)

Martin Webb - Boundary Paradoxes: The Social Life of Transparency and Accountability Activism in Delhi (awarded 2010)

Cressida Jervis-Read - Making Delhi Like Paris: Space and the Politics of Development in an East Delhi Resettlement Colony (awarded 2010)

Rebecca Prentice - 'Thiefing a Chance': Garment Work and the production of Flexibility in Trinidad (awarded 2007)

Jamie Cross - India shining: The social politics of mass production (awarded 2007)

Shalini Grover - Poor women's experiences of marriage and love in the city of New Delhi: everyday stories of sukh aur dukh (awarded 2006)