Sumanas Koulagi (Alumnus 2013)

Sumanas’ story

After Somerville, Sumanas moved onto a PhD at the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex. After 2 year working on rural development where he grew up, he’s now returned to academia to analyse the programmes he initiated. His thesis is titled ‘Development as Swaraj (self-rule): Human prosperity in terms of peace.’

The environmental crisis and social inequalities are two increasingly important meta-factors affecting the future development of humanity. It is apparent that the dominant moral political economies (MPEs) like capitalism, communism and socialism are failing to tackle these problems. Consequently there is a need to explore alternatives that have potential to minimize the environmental crisis as well as social inequality for long lasting peace.

On one hand, the study aims to construct a new MPE called Swaraj inspired by the writings of Mahatma Gandhi and his associate economist J C Kumarappa. On the other hand, it explores the khadi sector (hand spun and hand woven cotton textile) in the state of Karnataka, South India to understand the pragmatic ways in which Swaraj could be established.

Sumanas remains strongly committed to small scale development, combining practical experience with theoretical knowledge.