Vidushi Kaushik


I am a doctoral student in the Ireland India Institute, Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland. As part of the Global India project, my research investigates the surrender and rehabilitation policy of the Indian state in relation to the Maoist conflict. The focus of the study is to question whether the policy of surrender creates spaces for the transformation of the conflict, and as part of this whether the transformation can be brought about in state-society relations, especially in instances of historical injustice and discrimination.

I hold a master’s degree in Disaster Management with a specialization in Complex Emergencies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. It was in the course of my professional work following that degree that I began to explore peacebuilding and the everyday challenges of communities living in conflict areas. I worked with the INGO Nonviolent Peaceforce–Philippines in the Mindanao islands on civilian protection and community-based peacebuilding. In the course of my engagement as a practitioner, I felt that my effectiveness could be enhanced through a deeper understanding of desire conflict and peace studies and this led me to engage with academia.

Prior to DCU and Global India Fellowship, I received an MPhil in Development Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. My work there examined the ‘everyday life’ of surrendered Maoists in Chhattisgarh, India. My research interests focus on exploring ideas of peace and various processes involved in moving from violent to non-violent forms of dissent. I derive methodological and theoretical inspiration from anthropological work on security and violence. I see merit in understanding societies and violence through an anthropological lens, as this helps in moving away from traditional binaries and fosters the understanding of real-life situations through a human, rather than abstract, lens.