After four years of work and many unexpected twists and turns, I finally defended my dissertation on Muslim politics in North India last week and subsequently received the title of Dr. phil. (graded very good / magna cum laude). The dissertation consists of five refereed articles, a reprint, two published datasets and an overview essay that links them all together (the latter is published here):

This week, Economic & Political Weekly publishes the first thorough empirical application of my namematching algorithm: an exploration of the spatial variation of the "Muslim vote" in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 general elections, which I have written with Raheel Dhattiwala (from the University of South Australia, and formerly Oxford), following up on Raheel's considerable research on Gujarat and my own earlier work on elections in UP. A postprint of our article is archived HERE, with the original version on the journal website:

Raphael Susewind, & Raheel Dhattiwala (2014). Spatial Variation in the 'Muslim Vote' in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, 2014 Economic & Political Weekly, 49 (39), 99-110

After newspapers, online open access is unsurprisingly the second quickest medium in which reviews of my book appear. And since I am these days so embroiled in writing the first big draft of my research on Lucknow, this blog is poised to turn into a tool of quick and dirty self-promotion (though a post on Lucknow's real estate boom is in the pipeline, keep watching!). This is Jack David Eller, writing for the Anthropology Review Database:

We can only hope that the message of Muslim diversity and ambivalence reaches the ears of the public and of policy-makers and that more anthropologists will be inspired to explore and describe how religion actually moves, or does not move, particular Islamic - and other religions' - individual members, groups, and parties. (read the whole review online)

And here comes Kalathmika Natarajan, writing for the impressive new LSE Review of books (do subscribe to their RSS feeds or follow @LSEReviewBooks if you haven't already), with a more critical note:

Almost half a year after my book on Muslim peace activists in Gujarat hit the shelves, a first review appeared. This is what Moinuddin Ahmad had to say in The Statesman, one of India's oldest English newspapers particularly read in West Bengal:

This book is a rare collection of brave accounts of the people, asserting different identities, marked by the author. It may inspire people in various capacity to engage with the society and work for peace. The author tries to elucidate a thin line between the "religious" and the "secular" in many aspects of daily life, and how it gets blurred when people with different confessions work for same cause, as was done in Gujarat. This work by Raphael Susewind definitely opens a window through which Muslim society and peace-builders can be seen with a nuanced perspective.

I find it quite interesting to see how he focusses on my blurring the line between the faith-based and the secular, a way in which I haven't thought about my work so far (perhaps because that line for me was always kind of obviously fake), but which makes obvious sense, particularly in the context of the Indian debate. Read the whole review online...

The following book review first appeared in ASIEN / The German Journal on Contemporary Asia 127 (see entry in my publication list) and is reprinted here with permission. The book itself is here.

P. Ghassem-Fachandi: Pogrom in Gujarat. Hindu nationalim and anti-Muslim violence in India

Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012, 335 S., EUR 25,99

Im Frühjahr 2002 wurde die Heimat Mahatma Gandhis, der indische Bundesstaat Gujarat, Schauplatz der schlimmsten anti-muslimischen Ausschreitungen im Land seit den 1970er Jahren; mit staatlicher Duldung und teils Unterstützung wurden über 2000 Menschen ermordet. In den vergangenen Monaten, zehn Jahre später, fielen auf Drängen des Supreme Courts und gegen großen Widerstand in Gujarat selbst erste Urteile gegen die Täter – zuletzt spektakulär gegen eine ehemalige Ministerin im Kabinett von Narendra Modi (BJP), die wegen Verschwörung zu Mord und anderen Delikten zu lebenslanger Haft verurteilt wurde.