The Team

Programme Directors

Programme Directors
Mario Rutten

Mario Rutten, who passed away at a tragically young age on December 26, 2015, was Professor of Comparative Anthropology and Sociology of Asia at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He had extensive research experience on rural entrepreneurship and labour relations in India (Gujarat), Indonesia (Central Java), and Malaysia (Kedah State), and on Indian migrants in Europe (London). 

Prof. Rutten held research fellowships at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (Copenhagen), and at the Asian Research Institute, National University of Singapore. He was a board member of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Chairman of the Academic Committee of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies; and co-Chairman of the Joint Academic Committee India-Netherlands of ICSSR (Indian Council for Social Science Research) and NWO (National Dutch Scientific Council).

Apart from contributing to international journals and edited volumes, Rutten was the author of Asian Capitalists in the European Mirror (1994), Farms and Factories (1995), Rural Capitalists in Asia (2003), and ‘You had a Nice Holiday?’; Stories about Anthropological Fieldwork (in Dutch, 2007); and co-edited Economic Growth and Social Welfare (1993), Small Business Entrepreneurs in Asia and Europe (Sage, 1997), Development and Deprivation in Gujarat (2002), Labour and Capitalist Transformation in Asia (2004); and Asia in Europe, Europe in Asia (2004).

Closely related to his academic research, Rutten organised, together with photographer Huib Rutten, several photo exhibitions on ‘Globalisation as Mirror Image: Westernisation in India, Easternisation in the Netherlands’ (2008-2009); and co-directed, together with Sanderien Verstappen and Isabelle Makay, a documentary on Gujarati youngsters in London and their families in India, titled ‘Living Like a Common Man’ (2011).

Programme Directors
Carol Upadhya

Carol Upadhya is Professor in the School of Social Sciences at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, India. She received her PhD degree in social anthropology from Yale University. Earlier she taught sociology at the Post-Graduate Department of SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai. In addition to directing the Provincial Globalisation programme, Prof. Upadhya co-anchors the Urban Research and Policy Programme at NIAS.

Upadhya’s research interests focus on globalisation, transnationalism, development, class, and social transformations in India, and on anthropological theory and the history of anthropology in India.  She has published several papers and book chapters on the Indian middle class, work culture and employment issues in the software industry, caste and class formations in Coastal Andhra, the history of sociology in India, and land rights and adivasi politics in Jharkhand. She is currently completing an ethnographic monograph on work, class and culture among Indian IT workers.

Upadhya is co-editor (with A.R. Vasavi) of In an Outpost of the Global Economy: Work and Workers in India’s Information Technology Industry (New Delhi: Routledge, 2008) and (with Mario Rutten) of Small Business Entrepreneurs in Asia and Europe: Towards a Comparative Perspective (New Delhi: Sage, 1997). She has also co-directed, with Gautam Sonti, an ethnographic film series entitled ‘Coding Culture: Bangalore’s Software Industry’ (2006) –

NIAS link:

Postdoctoral Researcher

Postdoctoral Researcher
Puja Guha

Puja Guha is a Visiting Scientist at the Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore. Prior to this she has worked as a Research Economist and Programme Coordinator with the Provincial Globalisation programme at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. She completed her doctorate from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore in 2010 and MA in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics in 2004. Her research interests include international economics, international labour migration and capital flows, and macroeconomic modelling.

Dr. Guha’s PhD thesis topic was on the macroeconomic effects of remittances in Bangladesh. In her research she developed an analytical model to describe the transmission process of the macroeconomic effects of remittances through the economy, by incorporating the micro-foundations of remittances in a general equilibrium framework, i.e., the household demand and labour supply decisions that influence the macro level adjustments in the aggregate price level, consumption, and the labour market.

She has presented her research at several conferences including the Royal Economic Society Conference held in London in 2010, and the Global Development Network (GDN) Annual Conference held in Bogota, Colombia, in 2011. She has published her research in the Economic and Political Weekly. Guha has been associated as a research intern and part-time consultant with various national and international organisations, including the Asian Development Bank, Grameen Foundation USA , and the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India.

Link to CV: Guha.pdf

Postdoctoral Researcher
Leah M. Koskimaki

Leah Koskimaki was a Research Fellow with the Provincial Globalisation Research Programme at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, from October 2011 to December 2013. Since October 2014, she has been working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) and the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa.

Koskimaki received her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Washington in 2011. Her research interests include development studies, political anthropology, transnationalism, youth cultures, and theories of the public sphere. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled ‘Youth Publics and Embodied Politics: Genealogies of Development Aspiration in North Indian Hill Towns’, looks into the workings of democracy, youth politics, and Hindi-language publics in small towns in the Western Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, India. She is preparing a book manuscript based on this dissertation. Koskimaki has presented her research at several conferences and workshops including the American Anthropological Association, the Association for Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin's Annual Conference on South Asia at Madison, and Heidelberg University. She has won fellowships from Fulbright- Hays DDRA, the American Institute of Indian Studies, Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) for the study of Hindi, Urdu, and Bengali, as well as University of Washington’s Vigfusson and Chester-Fritz Fellowships.

Ph.D. Students

Ph.D. Students
Sanam Roohi

Sanam Roohi is a doctoral student in the Provincial Globalisation Programme. Her work focuses on high-skilled migrants from the Coastal Andhra region and the philanthropic activities that they support. She is interested in studying the intersections of caste, capital and the state.

Roohi earned a Masters degree in Political Science from University of Calcutta in 2006. She has worked with the Calcutta Research Group (CRG) on the Social Justice Project supported by Ford Foundation. The project's output included four volumes on social justice in India published by Sage Publications in 2009, and one of these volumes was co-edited by Roohi, in association with Prof. Ranabir Samaddar of CRG. She also carried out an ethnographic study on Muslim women in Kolkata through the lens of gendered citizenship. This work was published as a book chapter in Counter-gaze: Media, Migrants, Minorities (Kolkata: Frontpage Publications, 2010).

Roohi has also worked for the CIDASIA Programme of the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (Bangalore), where among other things she helped organise an international conference CultureAsia, supported by OSI and HIVOS. Before joining the Provincial Globalisation programme, she worked at NIAS for the Urban Research and Policy Programme, in the course of which she carried out a study of Bangalore municipality’s proposed Transfer of Development Rights scheme and its impact on local neighbourhoods.

Ph.D. Students
Sanderien Verstappen

Sanderien Verstappen completed her PhD degree in the Provincial Globalisation Programme on January 11 at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), University of Amsterdam. Her PhD research project, ‘Mobility and the region: a multi-scalar ethnography of the Vohra Gujarati community, in India and abroad’, analyses how Vohras shape their community and sense of regional belonging in central Gujarat (India), and among Vohras living abroad who maintain social-economic ties with the region. It is based on multi-sited fieldwork in Gujarat, the UK, and other locations.

Verstappen has publications on Indian youth in the UK, on the reception of Indian films among Surinamese Hindustani youth in the Netherlands, and on ethnographic film. Her research interests include the anthropology of mobility and place, and visual anthropology.

Verstappen teaches courses in Visual Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. She has been trained as a visual anthropologist at the University of Leiden and has made several documentary films, two of which were shot in India (in Gujarat and Rajasthan). Her 2011 film ‘Living Like a Common Man’ (co-directed with Mario Rutten and Isabelle Mackay), on Gujarati youth in London and their parents in Gujarat, has been screened at international film festivals and on the Indian news channel NDTV. 

Previously, Verstappen has taught Social Science courses at the University of Amsterdam (in the Sociology and Anthropology Department and at the International School of Humanities and Social Sciences) and at a high school in Amsterdam (Spinoza Lyceum). She has studied Cultural Anthropology and Sociology of Non-western Societies at the University of Amsterdam and got her doctoral degree in 2004 (MA Sc, cum laude). Link to homepage:

List of courses taught by her at UvA (2014-2015):

Her article on Indian youth in the UK in JEMS: 

To read about or purchase her film Living Like a Common Man, please visit:

Ph.D. Students
Sulagna Mustafi

Sulagna Mustafi is a doctoral student at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in the Provincial Globalisation programme. Her study focuses on the Beary Muslim community of Coastal Karnataka, looking closely at its migration patterns and linkages to the Gulf countries and analysing the consequent social and cultural changes taking shape within this transnational community.

Mustafi earned a Masters degree in International Relations from Jadavpur University, Kolkata in 2008. She worked for a year at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta as a teaching assistant before joining NIAS. There she assisted Prof. Anup Sinha, Prof. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, and Prof. Partha Pratim Pal. She had also briefly – from August to December in 2008 – worked as a volunteer for the Teach India project launched by the Times of India.