Lyn Crost Professor of Social Sciences
Department of Sociology and Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs
My main area of research is the comparative study of social inequality and democratic deepening. I am particularly interested in understanding how democratic institutions and practices can promote more inclusive and more participatory forms of development. My research has focused primarily on Brazil, India and South Africa. I have done research on a range of related topics, including comparative democracy, urban governance, social movements, development theory and policy, decentralization, the middle class, civil society and state transformation. Most recently, I have worked on questions of urban transformation and governance, including a book on Brazil (with Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Marcelo Silva), a project on South Africa that built a data base on spatial transformation of the post-apartheid city and an ongoing project on "Cities of Delhi" with colleagues at the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi.
New Book (Available on-line)
Deliberation and Development: Rethinking the Role of Voice and Collective Action in Unequal Societies co-edited with Vijayendra Rao. World Bank Group.
Does Citizenship Abate Class? Evidence and Reflections from a South Indian City (with with Ebony Bertorelli, Siddarth Swaminathan and Ashutsoh Varshney)
Cabal City: Regime Theory and Indian Urbanization (with Partha Mukhopdhyay and Michael Walton)
The Challenges of growth and inclusion in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai
Cities of Delhi
How is Delhi governed and how do the urban poor get services? This is a collaborative project with the Centre for Policy Research in India. The project has produced 12 reports on case studies of slums, service delivery departments and governance processes, as well as a range of media pieces. For and overview of the project findings: Exclusion, Informality and Predation in the Cities of Delhi:
The Exclusion Field: Politics, Institutions and Inequality in an Indian City
The sociology of spatial exclusion through a case study of New Delhi.
Human Development, State Transformation and the Politics of the Developmental State
(with Peter Evans) ed. Stephan Leibfried, Frank Nullmeier, Evelyne Huber, Matthew Lange, Jonah Levy & John Stephens, The Oxford Handbook of Transformations of the State. Oxford University Press, 2015.
Citizenship in Urban India: Evidence from Bangalore
A joint project between Brown University and the urban governance NGO Janaagraha to measure citizenship and service delivery in urban India. The first report is based on a survey of 4,000 households in Bangalore.
Urban Transformation in South Africa
A User-friendly data-base with spatial data on demographic, social and economic transformation for Cape Town,
Durban and Johannesburg
Civil Society and Social Movements in a Globalizing World: Challenges and Opportunities,
2013 Human Development Report Occasional Papers, United Nations Development Agency. An overview of the literature on civil society and globalization with case studies of impacts in India, Brazil and South Africa.
In the Media
BRICS from Below: Counterpower Movements in Brazil, India and South Africa in OpenDemocracy
Modi's Election, May 23, 2014, Column in the Providence Journal
Taking Back the City in the Indian Express, 2013 - the Delhi Gang-rape, social movements and the march through the institutions
The Creative Tension Between Political and Civil Society, Column in Indian Express, November 7, 2012
2011. Bootstrapping Democracy: Transforming Local Governance and Civil Society in Brazil (co-authored with Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Marcelo Kunrath Silva). Stanford University Press.
2007. Social Democracy in the Global Periphery: Origins and Prospects (co-authored with Richard Sandbrook, Marc Edelman and Judith Teichman). Cambridge University Press.
Chapter 7 Social and Political Origins
1999. The Labor of Development: Workers and the Transformation of Capitalism in Kerala, India. Cornell University Press.
"Introduction" and "Classes and States in the Making of Development"
Development and the State
2015. “Human Development, State Transformation and the Politics of the Developmental State ” (with Peter Evans) ed. Stephan Leibfried, Frank Nullmeier, Evelyne Huber, Matthew Lange, Jonah Levy & John Stephens, The Oxford Handbook of Transformations of the State. Oxford University Press.
2011. “The Great Transformations of Indian States,” Seminar, 620, April.
2009. “Dependency and Development in a Globalized World,” (with Dietrich Rueschemeyer and Richard Snyder). Studies in Comparative and International Development, 44:4.
2006. “Can Social Democracies Survive in the Third World,” (with Marc Edelman, Richard Sandbrook and Judith Teichman) Dissent, Summer.
1996. “Social Capital as Product of Class Mobilization and State Intervention: Industrial Workers in Kerala, India,” pp. 1055-1071, World Development 24:6, June.
1995. “From Class Struggle to Class Compromise: Redistribution and Growth in a South Indian State,” pp. 645-672, Journal of Development Studies, 31:5, June.
Civil Society, Democracy, Participation
2012. “Democracy, Participatory Politics and Development: Some Comparative Lessons from Brazil, India and South Africa,” Polity, 44, 643-665.
2011. "Towards a Sociological Perspective on Democratization in the Global South: Lessons from Brazil, India and South Africa". Paper prepared for the Comparative Research Workshop. New Haven, CT: Yale University.
2011. "Binding the State: State Capacity and Civil Society in India". Paper presented at the “State Building Workshop.” New Delhi: Centre for Policy Research.
2012. “Remaking the Apartheid City: Local Government and Civil Society in South Africa,” (with Bongani Ngqulanga) pp. 198-217 in Gerhard Bruyns and Arie Graafland (eds.) African Perspective - South Africa: City, Society, Space, Literature and Architecture. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.
2011. “Making Citizens from Below and Above: The Prospects and Challenges of Decentralization in India,” in Ruparelia, Sanjay and Sanjay Reddy, John Harriss and Stuart Corbridge (eds). Understanding India’s New Political Economy, Oxfordshire: Routledge.
2009. “Democratic Deepening in India and South Africa,” Journal of Asian and African Studies, 41:4, pp. 123-149.
2008. “Making Space for Civil Society: Institutional Reform and Local Democracy in Brazil,” (with Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Marcelo Kunrath Silva) Social Forces, 86:3, pp. 911-936.
2008. “Local Democracy and Development in Comparative Perspective,” pp. 153-174 in Mirjam van Donk, Mark Swilling, Edgar Pieterse and Susan Parnell (eds.) Consolidating Developmental Local Government: Lessons from the South African Experience. Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press.
2007. "The Antinomies of Civil Society and Democracy: Civics as Publics in Post-Apartheid South Africa" (manuscript)
2006. “The Plasticity of Participation: Evidence from a Participatory Governance Experiment,” (with S. Chaudhuri) Columbia University ISERP Working Paper.
2005. “Reinventing Public Power in the Age of Globalization: the Transformation of Movement Politics in Kerala,” in Raka Ray and Mary Katzenstein (eds.), Social Movements in India: Poverty, Power and Politics. New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Inc.
2003. “Reclaiming Democratic Spaces: Civics and Politics in Post-Transition Johannesburg,” in Robert Beauregard and Richard Tomlinson (eds.), Emerging Johannesburg. New York: Routledge.
2001. “Moving the State: The Politics of Decentralization in Kerala, South Africa and Porto Alegre,” pp. 131-163, Politics and Society 29:1.
2000. “Degrees of Democracy: Some Comparative Lessons from India,” pp. 484-519, World Politics 52, July.
2001. “A Civic Movement or a Movement of Civics?: The South African National Civic Organisation (sanco) in the Post-apartheid Period,” (with Libhongo Ntlokonkulu) Research Report No. 84, Social Policy Series, Centre for Policy Studies, Johannesburg, June.
2015. “Exclusion, Informality, and Predation in the Cities of Delhi: An Overview of the Cities of Delhi Project” (co-authored with Partha Mukhopadhyay, Subhadra Banda and Shahana Sheik). Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, India, August.
2015. “State-produced Inequality in an Indian City” (co-authored with Partha Mukhopadhyay). Seminar, 672, August, 2015.
2010. “The Spatial Dynamics of Middle Class Formation in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Enclavization and Fragmentation in Johannesburg,” (with Amy Kraker-Selzer) Political Power and Social Theory, Volume 21.
2010. “Legacies, Change and Transformation in the Post-Apartheid City: Towards an Urban Sociological Cartography,” (with Daniel Schensul), International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.
2010. “Taking Tilly South: Durable Inequalities, Democratic Contestation and Citizenship in the Southern Metropolis,” (with Peter Evans). Theory and Society, 39:433-450.
The Middle Class
2006. “Hegemonic Aspirations: New Middle Class Politics and India’s Democracy in Comparative Perspective,” (with Leela Fernandes) Critical Asian Studies, 38:4, pp. 495-522.
2012. “Movements, Politics and Democracy: Kerala in Comparative Perspective,” in Routledge Handbook of Indian Politics edited by Atul Kohli and Prerna Singh. London, Routledge forthcoming.
2010. “Representation by Design? Variations on Participatory Reforms in Brazilian Municípios,” (with Gianpaolo Baiocchi) in Kristian Stokke, Olle Tornquist and Neil Webster (eds) Rethinking Democratic-Popular Representation. Houndsmills Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
2005. “The Politics and Institutional Design of Participatory Democracy: Lessons from Kerala, India,”(with T.M. Thomas Isaac) pp. 405-443 in Boaventura de Sousa Santos (ed.), Democratizing Democracy: Beyond the Liberal Democratic Canon. London: Verso.
2003. “Democracy and Development: Decentralized Planning in Kerala,” (with T.M. Thomas Isaac) in Archon Fung and Erik O. Wright (eds.), Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Democracy. London, Verso Press.