The programme on India in the Global World began in 2008 and ended in 2013. It was funded by the Ford Foundation (India) and coordinated by Amartya Sen. The focus of the project - an assessment of 'India in the Modern World' – was on the relevance of India's past for its present, and the implications of those connections in scrutinizing the nature, reach and strength of the reassessment of India's changing global image. Amartya Sen's work initially concentrated on completing work concerned with justice, started under the foundations of democracy project. The work under the project also covered broader issues of ethics and substantial sections on democracy, going beyond them into an assessment of the demands of justice, to which the need for democracy can be attached. The emerging book, The Idea of Justice, was published in July 2009. A second study was a project on epistomology and decision theory relevance in modern economics, social sciences and legal analysis (especially what is called "Law and Economics"). The final step and central challenge of the project was to write an assessment of "India in the global world", with a focus on (1) the relevance of India's past for its present, and (2) the implications of those connections in scrutinizing the nature, reach and strength of the reassessment of India's changing global image. The resulting book, An Uncertain Glory, published by Princeton University Press in 2013 and co-authored with Jean Dréze, argues that India's main problems lie in the lack of attention paid to the essential needs of the people, especially of the poor, and often of women. There have been major failures both to foster participatory growth and to make good use of the public resources generated by economic growth to enhance people's living conditions. There is also a continued inadequacy of social services such as schooling and medical care as well as of physical services such as safe water, electricity, drainage, transportation, and sanitation.
Amartya Sen chaired a Commonwealth Commission on promoting peace through civil means. The resulting report 'Civil Paths to Peace: Report of the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding' was published in 2007, when Amartya Sen on behalf of the Commission reported to the Heads of the Governments of the Commonwealth countries (the CHOGM) in Kampala, Uganda. Civil Paths to Peace contains the analyses and findings of the Commission, established in response to the 2005 request of Commonwealth Heads of Government for the Commonwealth Secretary-General to 'explore initiatives to promote mutual understanding and respect among all faiths and communities in the Commonwealth.' Amartya Sen has continued to work with the Commonwealth Commission in a follow-up and promotion of the report's findings.
Amartya Sen edited and contributed to a book on Peace and Democratic Society. His chapter explores ideas around 'organised violence' (such as war, genocide and terrorism) and violence against the individual. This introductory essay draws upon the findings of the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding, which was chaired by Amartya Sen. The Commonwealth Commission's report - 'Civil Paths to Peace' - forms the second part of the book.
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