Studies in Indian Politics

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • Behind the Popular Narrative: Negotiating Life and Political Engagement in Conflicted Kashmir

    The article focuses on the subaltern system of micro appropriations or Jugaads used by young Kashmiris to survive within precarious situations inflicted due to armed conflict. More particularly, it argues that such Jugaads are invoked by the subaltern consciousness of Tehreeq-e-Azadi, which offers space for not just the negotiation with the state but also the creative improvisation of daily political actions. It is illustrated that young people’s political participation is entangled with the attempts to overcome the uncertainty around their lives, thereby offering them pragmatic solutions in advancing their interests. It is further elaborated that the existing polarization between separatism and mainstream is obscure at the experiential level, living within precarious situations has taught young people to silently craft possibilities of a good life without looking confrontational to either side. The article argues that localized forms of engagement are crucial for a comprehensive understanding of how modern states operate.

  • Book review: Elizabeth Chatterjee and Matthew McCartney, eds. Class and Conflict: Revisiting Pranab Bardhan’s Political Economy of India

    Elizabeth Chatterjee and Matthew McCartney, eds. Class and Conflict: Revisiting Pranab Bardhan’s Political Economy of India. Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2019. 299 pages. ₹1,395

  • Of Caste and Indian Politics: A Detour Through D. L. Sheth and Beyond

    Stemming essentially from D. L. Sheth and the work embodied in his 1999 essay ‘Secularisation of Caste and Making of New Middle Class’, the article attempts to outline the pathways for an alternative engagement with caste and politics. In perspective is what is termed the ‘triumphalist’ mode of encountering caste identities; and, along this course, the extant possibilities of the constructivist understanding of caste are addressed. The stakes of the exercise are largely theoretical and conceptual, although a further thought is thrown in about the contemporary ground of caste politics in India as well.

  • Bypassing the Patronage Trap: Evidence from Delhi Assembly Election 2020

    Scholars have long theorized on the limits of patronage politics and the possibility of counter-mobilization it produces against clientelist strategies. Analysing the recent win of the Aam Aadmi Party in the 2020 Assembly election in Delhi, this article shows that programmatic policies of welfare can help parties to circumvent this trap and avoid targeted patronage networks. We find that this broad-based appeal increases the social base of the party to even include those segments of voters who remain aloof to patronage-based exchanges. Additionally, we test the salience of majoritarian issues in the presence of universal welfare. We find that by locating themselves on issue positions of relative advantage, and reducing the ideological distance with their chief competitor, a policy-focussed party may capture not just ideology-agnostic, but also peripheral voters who might be opposed to the other challenger. Using a logistic regression model, we find that policy concerns catapulted AAP to victory, while its ideological distance from the BJP added to this. Our analysis has significance for understanding the underlying changes to patronage-based linkages, especially in the presence of heightened ethnic appeals that increasingly characterizes electoral contexts in the country.

  • Did the Poona Pact Disenfranchise the ‘Depressed Classes’? An Analysis of the 1936–1937 and 1945–1946 Provincial Elections

    This article contests the conventional view that the ‘Depressed Classes’ lost out on representation by agreeing to joint electorates in the Poona Pact. It analyses the results of the elections to the provincial legislatures in British India that took place in 1936–1937 and 1945–1946 under the Government of India Act, 1935, to concretely appraise the working of the Poona Pact. The article argues that reserved seats, primary elections and cumulative voting redeemed the ability of the Poona Pact to provide both descriptive and substantive representation for the ‘Depressed Classes’.

  • Book review: Sanjib Baruah, In the Name of the Nation

    Sanjib Baruah, In the Name of the Nation (New Delhi: Navayana Publishers, 2020), 278 pp. ₹599.

  • Book review: Shirin M. Rai and Carole Spary. Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament

    Shirin M. Rai and Carole Spary. Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2019. 398 pages. ₹995.

  • The Double Life of Dissent: Art, Politics and the Predicaments of Democracy in India

    The article focuses on two moments in India’s political history, in which out-rightly expressed dissent underlines analytical shifts in the nature and course of the country’s democracy. It asks two questions: First, what does a self-proclaimed, democratic state do with peaceful dissenting artists? The second question follows from this. If indeed the state stigmatizes and suppresses that dissent, what does the artist do? By foregrounding the relationship between the dissent and offence-taking, the article shows the increasingly complex changes in the nature of the democratic state, role of the art market therein, the dynamic patterns of dissent itself, which underline the cyclic outbursts of violence against artists.

  • Dhirubhai L. Seth 1936-2021: Commemorating Intellectual Politics
  • New Education Policy: Notes from Academic Hinterlands

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