This module examines the structure and forces that have created, sustained and now may challenge democratic politics in independent India. It presumes that historical understanding is a precondition for understanding politics. But, in analyzing the pattern and flow of politics in independent India, it does not follow any particular methodological fashion: history, political science, sociology, economics, are invoked whenever necessary to understand the specific problem at hand.
Students will consider India's postcolonial constitutional order, the party political system, the emergence in politics of social identities such as caste and religion, the role of the state in India's economic development, the crises of the state manifested in episodes such as the Emergency, the challenges to the secular form of the state, issues of gender and development, economic reform and security. Throughout, the focus will be on the establishment and conduct of democratic politics in India, and the often ironic and paradoxical results generated by such politics.
Please note module information is indicative and may change from year to year.
10 x 2-hour weekly seminars
Module assessment - more information
1 essay x 4,000 words