This book argues that inequality of basic freedoms-economic, political, sociocultural-is a central cause of fragility and challenge to job creation in fragile geopolitical situations. It is based on extensive official data and stakeholder interactions in the conflict-ridden Indian border state of Jammu and Kashmir, and involves a case study research methodology. This is the first book which invokes the philosophical perspective of freedom to analyze two of the most pressing challenges of our time-fragility and job creation-and, as such, makes a fundamental contribution to both strands of academic and policy literature. From this perspective, development in the sense of freedoms-particularly the enhancement of human agency through jobs-should be a central strategy in tackling fragility. Most literature on Indian Kashmir has been emotional or political in nature, lacking the serious yet interesting multidisciplinary focus presented here-which is a historical assessment of Kashmir's political economy, economic indices, employment patterns, challenges of infrastructure and human capital. Ending with a set of long-, medium- and immediate-term policy recommendations to address the challenge of jobs in the state, this is the only book on Indian Kashmir which is at once philosophical, social-scientific and policy-oriented in nature. Academics in development studies, regional development, political science and international relations, international organizations working in fragile regions around the world, national and international policymakers, the private sector, civil society, media as well as ordinary readers interested in the issue of Kashmir will find it engaging and useful.
Ali Mehdi, PhD, is a Senior Fellow at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi. He developed the Jobs and Development project of The World Bank (www.icrier-jobs.org) and Health Policy Initiative (www.icrier-health.org) at ICRIER, and continues to lead the latter. Ali completed his higher education in Germany - Masters at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg and PhD at Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin. His Master's thesis was published by Springer, while his doctoral thesis is under publication by the Oxford University Press.
Divya Chaudhry is a Research Associate at ICRIER. She did her Masters at Ambedkar University, New Delhi, and has been working with Ali under both the Jobs and Development project and Health Policy Initiative. Among her publications is a coauthored paper with Ali on the `Human capital potential of India's future workforce' (ICRIER working paper 308).
Priyanka Tomar is a Research Associate at ICRIER. She completed her Masters from the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune, and has been working with Ali under both the Jobs and Development project and Health Policy Initiative.