Dr. Miriam Wenner
My research focuses on politics and development in the Global South. I am especially interested in how the construction of political authority and legitimacy relates to moral values, and how such values inflect upon the political conduct of different actors. Drawing on data from my finalised dissertation-project "Monopolising a statehood movement. Gorkhaland between authoritarian parties and 'aware citizens'" I analyse how socially held moral values and idealised imaginations of ?proper? conduct gain importance in party-political contestations over political authority in the broader context of a social movement for regional autonomy in northern India.
My second research focus explores the manifold processes and contested visions of development. Taking a critical realist perspective, I am interested in tracing actual transformations and changes, and analyzing the practical effects these have for different groups and actors. In a current project on transformations in the tea-sector in northern India and eastern Nepal, I explore how imaginations of a better life and economic upgrading inspire small-farmers' collective action.
My research unfolds at the intersection between human geography and social anthropology, and has a regional focus on northern India and Nepal.
My fields of interest include: local politics, patronage and brokerage; authority, informal sovereigns and legitimacy; relations between ethics and politics; social movements; geographical imaginations.