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Essays on population and space in India

Christophe Z. Guilmoto
Alain Vaguet


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1This collection of essays was first edited by Alain Vaguet and published in French in 1997. Its objective was to bring together for the French reader a group of studies on Indian population. Many of authors who participated in the project are geographers from the University of Rouen, an institution with a long tradition of research in India, and from other French academic and research centres such as the CEIAS (Centre d’Etudes de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud), CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement) and others. Even if the initial intention was to focus closely on the geography of population, the varied research interests of the authors opened a large number of areas related to spatial organization in India, integrating demographic, economic and anthropological questions.

2Since the collection was well received by the French academic community, the editor Alain Vaguet, joined by Christophe Z. Guilmoto, prepared by an English (modified and updated) version in order to present these texts to a wider audience, primarily Indian readers. It is their wish to invite and stimulate further research and discussion regarding the compelling topic emerging from this collection - the spatialization of social change in India. The Department of Social Sciences at the French Institute, which actively pursues a research programme devoted to the changing spatial context of Indian society, welcomed this publication. It is an excellent occasion to make available the results of French research and scholarship to the scientific community in India.

3The editors are indebted to the journal Espace-Populations-Sociétés, published by the University of Lille, for accepting to publish the volume in french on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Indian independence, and for having supported this translation project from its inception. The editors are also grateful to Frederic Landy for his initial assistance, as well as to the authors for having agreed to revise the translations and to modify the maps and figures, which turned out, at times, to be quite a complex activity. The volume has benefited a great deal from the assistance provided by Tiaré Purushothaman, G. Venkatasubramanian, James Walker and A.M. Stuttle, as well as by Corinne Giron, all of whom actively participated at various stages in the preparation of this work in Pondicherry.

4Pondicherry and Rouen, 2000

© Institut Français de Pondichéry, 2000

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