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).