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Arindam Dutta
Calcutta Coefficients

Arindam Dutta
Styles of State-Building, Styles of Computations
November 7, 2008 03:00 PM
Ann Arbor
Room 1636 of the International Institute/School of Social Work Building

This paper looks at international intervention in the shift from India’s first phase of dirigiste planning to its abandonment after the third Five Year Plan. The transformation in the style of state-building from its "socialist" avatar to its antecedent privileging of the native private sector and their multinational patrons, the paper argues, is literally instantiated in the forms of technology deemed appropriate to each of these choices. Different styles of state-building imply different technology regimes. To make this case, the paper examines the Ford Foundation's (failed) urban planning mission for Calcutta between 1961 and 1974, its use of computational techniques and statistical analysis for design, placing this crisis of urban planning in the context of the turbulent social, and political upheavals of the city in this period.

A reception will follow the event.

Will Glover

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