FES doctoral candidate Pablo Bose hopes to build bridges

With a $20,000 Canadian Window on International Development (CWID) award, York doctoral student Pablo Bose (left, and below, right) hopes to build bridges between immigrant groups in Canada and social justice movements concerned with displacement in India.

The award, from the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, is for a comparative research project that benefits both Canada and a developing nation. Recipients of this grant must demonstrate that their research is of importance in both places.

A Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) PhD candidate, Bose will explore the relationship between immigrant communities in Toronto and Vancouver and processes of economic development and population displacement in two of the western states of India – Gujarat and Kerala.

Through their investments and remittances, Canadians of South Asian origin have influenced development processes back home that in some cases have led to population displacement, “caused in part by the very funds provided by the diasporic communities to aid in development,” explains Bose. His research will document the problem.

“I’m hoping to facilitate an interactive process of bridge-building and communication between the diasporic groups in Canada and local communities in the Indian states,” says Bose.

“My ultimate research goal is to design a mechanism so that grassroots civil society organizations and transnational diasporic networks may collaborate on goals of equitable and sustainable human and economic development – and, in the process, alleviate some of the global crises, such as displacement, that are created by inequitable development.”

The CWID award will enable Bose to spend four months in India next year conducting interviews in Gujarat, Kerala, Mumbai and Delhi and researching at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences in Calcutta.

Bose was born in Calcutta and grew up in Vancouver, where he completed a BA in English at the University of British Columbia. He holds a post baccalaureate diploma and an MA in communications from Simon Fraser University.

At York, Bose has worked with Peter Penz (right), FES professor and director of York’s Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), and conducted studies on development-induced displacement in India. He is a research associate of CRS and a graduate associate of the York Centre for Asian Research.

Since 2002, Bose has been the research coordinator of the CRS project on the Ethics of Development-Induced Displacement, with responsibility for bringing this five-year project, involving scholars from several Canadian and Indian universities, to completion. He is co-editing and writing essays for two of the books that will result from the multidisciplinary project.

Bose is also completing York’s Teaching Practicum Certificate and is currently teaching an FES undergraduate course on Environment, Media, Culture & Communication.

The above article was submitted to YFile by the FES Office of External Relations.