PROFILE: The Centre for the Study of Law and Governance – a Pioneering Effort, rewarded with zero admissions!

The Centre for the Study of Law and Governance adopts a multidisciplinary approach to framing research and teaching on the relationship between law and governance. The programme’s interdisciplinary focus is distinct from mainstream social science approaches to governance or law in its attempt to explore how practices of law and governance are embedded in political, economic, social and historical processes; how practices of governance are dispersed over various sites ranging from the government, bureaucracy, judiciary, community and family; the socio-legal processes that deter or provide access to justice; and notions of governmentality, sovereignty and rights in specific politico-jural regimes.

While the Centre’s academic programme produces scholarly research on law and governance, it also seeks to translate theory into practices of governance by initiating debate, sharing research and encouraging dialogue between the academia, government, civil society and NGOs at local, national and global levels. It is perhaps the only academic space in India, and possibly one of the few in the world, to have directed intellectual energy towards bringing together an interdisciplinary focus on the relationship between law and governance, and the socio-legal processes that embed the practices of governance.  Exploiting the outstanding success of the Law and Social Sciences Research Network (LASSnet,, initiated by and anchored at the CSLG in 2007, research at CSLG has moved away from conventional methods of looking at black letter law to using economic and sociological approaches in order to redress lacunae in the law and legal research.  

CSLG’s innovative research programmes — the Law in Social Sciences Programme and Critical Governance Studies – build on the spaces this unique Centre has created for conversations about research and pedagogy across disciplines, a space hitherto unavailable in any Indian university. It is hardly surprising therefore that several programmes linking law and governance have come up in Indian universities in the last few years, following CSLG’s success. These include the programmes on Law, Governance and Citizenship at B.R. Ambedkar University, Delhi; on Law, Justice and Governance at the Gautam Budh University, Noida; the Law Governance and Development Initiative at the Azim Premji University, Bangalore, among others. It is not an exaggeration to claim that the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance has become an academic niche for those young scholars who wish to promote interdisciplinary research on law, and do not find the academic space to do so within the existing structure of law schools  

But what is the fate of this ‘first-in-JNU, only-then-in-others’ programme: ZERO admissions!

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