Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Akshay Mangla is an assistant professor in the Business, Government and International Economy Unit, where he teaches the course of the same name in the MBA required curriculum. Professor Mangla’s primary expertise lies in the political economy of development, with a regional focus on South Asia. His current research examines the governance of public services in rural India, particularly in the education sector. In addition, he has conducted research on private initiatives to enforce labor standards in global supply chains. He is a faculty associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the South Asia Institute at Harvard.
Professor Mangla received his Ph.D. in Political Science from M.I.T. He holds a M.Sc. in Management Research from the University of Oxford, and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a B.S. in Finance and B.A. in Philosophy. His research has been supported by the American Institute of Indian Studies and the National Security Education Program’s David L. Boren Fellowship.
Understanding Child Labor in India
Mangla, Akshay. "Understanding Child Labor in India." Perspectives on Work
13, no. 1 (Summer 2009): 13–16.
Virtue out of Necessity? Compliance, Commitment and the Improvement of Labor Conditions in Global Supply Chains
Private, voluntary compliance programs, promoted by global corporations and nongovernmental organizations alike, have produced only modest and uneven improvements in working conditions and labor rights in most global supply chains. Through a detailed study of a major global apparel company and its suppliers, this article argues that this compliance model rests on misguided theoretical and empirical assumptions concerning the power of multinational corporations in global supply chains, the role information (derived from factory audits) plays in shaping the behavior of key actors (e.g., global brands, transnational activist networks, suppliers, purchasing agents, etc.) in these production networks, and the appropriate incentives required to change behavior and promote improvements in labor standards in these emergent centers of global production. The authors argue that it is precisely these faulty assumptions and the way they have come to shape various labor compliance initiatives throughout the world—even more than a lack of commitment, resources, or transparency by global brands and their suppliers to these programs—that explain why this compliance-focused model of private voluntary regulation has not succeeded. In contrast, this article documents that a more commitment-oriented approach to improving labor standards coexists and, in many of the same factories, complements the traditional compliance model. This commitment-oriented approach, based on joint problem solving, information exchange, and the diffusion of best practices, is often obscured by the debates over traditional compliance programs but exists in myriad factories throughout the world and has led to sustained improvements in working conditions and labor rights at these workplaces.
Keywords: Working Conditions;
Bureaucratic Norms and State Capacity: Implementing Primary Education in India's Himalayan Region
Himachal Pradesh has surged ahead of other Indian states in implementing universal primary education. Through a combination of field research methods, this paper connects these achievements to bureaucratic norms, unwritten rules within the state that guide the behavior of public officials and structure their relations with civic agencies outside the state. Bureaucratic norms are a critical component of state capacity that shape when and how public agencies implement policies effectively on behalf of marginalized citizens.
Mobilizing Culture for Public Action: Community Participation and Child Rights in Rural Uttar Pradesh
Community-based initiatives that work to empower the poor and promote their participation have gained strong support among scholars and practitioners of development. Yet the questionable assumptions about culture and development that inform these initiatives render it unclear as to whether and how community participation can be promoted in practice, especially in settings that depart from the ideal conceptions of community. Through a detailed case study of the UNICEF-IKEA Bal Adhikar Pariyojana (BAP), a grassroots initiative that seeks to advance child rights in India, this paper examines how traditionally disempowered community members learn to mobilize collectively around child education and health in the least-likely setting of rural Uttar Pradesh. Building on the recent literature on culture and public action, and relying on extensive field research, village-level comparisons and interviews with key stakeholders, this paper traces the process by which BAP fieldworkers and community members make strategic use of the cultural understandings, norms and identities that govern family, gender and caste relations to build new community-based networks that promote the rights of children. Yet there are serious drawbacks to these cultural strategies when attempting to scale up participation directed at an unresponsive state. To maintain ties with different caste groups, BAP takes an apolitical posture and does not actively build the capacity of communities to mobilize politically and make demands on state agencies. The findings suggest that cultural strategies for promoting community participation in rural India need to be understood within a broader political context of poor local governance and caste politics.
Making the Right to Education Effective: Strategies, Constraints, Outcomes
Mangla, Akshay. "Making the Right to Education Effective: Strategies, Constraints, Outcomes." Paper presented at the The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, January 14, 2014.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Meets Sarva Samaj: The Politics of Education and Caste in Rural Uttar Pradesh
Mangla, Akshay. "Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Meets Sarva Samaj: The Politics of Education and Caste in Rural Uttar Pradesh." Paper presented at the Fifth Annual Contemporary India Seminar, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, September 12, 2013.
Bureaucratic Norms and Civic Engagement: Implementing Universal Primary Education in Rural India
Mangla, Akshay. "Bureaucratic Norms and Civic Engagement: Implementing Universal Primary Education in Rural India." Paper presented at the Panel on Microperspectives on State Performance, American Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, September 1, 2013.
Bureaucratic Norms and Policy Implementation
Mangla, Akshay. "Bureaucratic Norms and Policy Implementation." Paper presented at the Conference on State Capacity in South Asia, South Asia Colloquium, UC Berkeley, April 7, 2013.
Bureaucratic Norms and Civic Engagement: Implementing Universal Primary Education in India’s Himalayan Region
Mangla, Akshay. "Bureaucratic Norms and Civic Engagement: Implementing Universal Primary Education in India’s Himalayan Region." Paper presented at the Conference on Subnational Research in Comparative Politics, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University, Providence, RI, May 9, 2013.