Eight recently published scholarly books on India that investigate the concerns of our time


Ideology and Organization in Indian Politics: Polarization and the Growing Crisis of the Congress Party (2009-19)Zoya Hassan

Ideology and organization in Indian politics examines the immense changes that have taken place in Indian politics over the past decade and their impact on the Indian National Congress. The impact is most apparent in the changing fortunes of the Congress party, which suffered two major election defeats in 2014 and 2019, bringing the party’s crisis to the fore and center of public debate.

This book reflects on the reasons for these enormous changes by examining, first, the underlying conditions that led to the decline of Congress and, second, the “both external and internal” challenges that Congress faces and, in doing so, estimating its impact on Indian politics and on Congress. Specifically, it examines how significant ideological debates provoked by the rise of majoritarianism, the Gujarat model, hypernationalism, secular backsliding, and restraints and restrictions on opposition have influenced Congress.

This analysis of political change in India over the past decade provides insight into the processes of transformation and polarization that also founded the Congress party and centrist parties in other countries.


Universities as Transformative Social Spaces: Mobilities and Mobilizations from a South Asian Perspectiveedited by Andrea Kolbe, Susan Thieme, Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka

The field of higher education, like everything else in a global and mobile world, has changed rapidly over the past few decades. More and more universities and higher education centers are using “internationalization” strategies, increasing the heterogeneity of ranks, student composition, resource endowments, faculty profiles and their spaces. social.

The essays in this book take a critical look at universities in South Asia – more specifically, at the dynamics of student mobility and mobilizations existing in these localized social spaces, and compare them to their counterparts in universities around the world. . While elite universities in South Asia, as elsewhere, have been caught up in fierce international competition and aspire to the highest ranks, students from the most excluded communities and remote parts of the country seek to enter poorly endowed universities, facing obstacles during their courses. , and looking for a job.

The book assesses these universities as spaces of opportunity for mobility and mobilization in a globally networked world. It combines local and international perspectives with in-depth observations of the dynamics in localized university spaces, while integrating them into transnational processes.


Ascending order: rising powers and status politics in international institutionsRohan Mukherjee

Why do rising powers sometimes challenge an international order that allows their growth, and at other times support an order that constrains them? Ascending offers the first comprehensive study of conflict and cooperation as new powers join the global arena.

International institutions shape the choices of emerging states as they seek equal status with established powers. Open membership rules and fair decision-making procedures facilitate equality and cooperation, while exclusion and injustice frequently breed conflict. Using original and solid archival evidence, the book examines these dynamics in three cases: the United States and the maritime laws of war in the mid-19th century; Japan and naval arms control in the interwar period; and India and nuclear non-proliferation during the Cold War.

This study shows that the future of the contemporary international order depends on the ability of international institutions to respond to the status ambitions of rising powers such as China and India.


Divorce and democracy: a history of personal rights in post-independence IndiaSaumya Saxena

Divorce and democracy captures the Indian state’s difficult dialogue with divorce, mediated in large part by religion. By mapping the trajectories of marriage and divorce laws of Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities in postcolonial India, it explores the dynamic interplay between law, religion, family, minority rights and gender in the Indian politics.

The book demonstrates that the binary frameworks of the private-public divide, individual rights versus group rights, and universal rights versus legal pluralism, collapse before the particularities of religious personal law. Historicizing the legislative and judicial response to decades of public debate and activism on the issue of human rights, it suggests that the sustained negotiations over family life within and across the legal landscape have brought about a unique and deeply contextual evolution. secularism and religion in India. constitutional order. Personal law has therefore played a key role in defining the place of religion and determining the content of secularism in Indian democracy.


Subaltern Frontiers: Creating an Agrarian City in GurgaonThomas Cowan

In urban and peri-urban areas of the Global South, politicians, planners and developers are engaged in a voracious scramble to reshape land for global real estate investment and transfer power from the state to private sector actors. Much of this development has taken place on the outskirts of traditional metropolises, within the territorially flexible urban border.

At the forefront of these processes in India is Gurgaon, a private metropolis in the southwest hinterland of New Delhi that has long been touted as India’s flagship neoliberal city. Subordinate borders tells the story of India’s remarkable urban transformation by examining the land and labor policies that have shaped the city of Gurgaon.

Subordinate borders examines how the country’s flagship urban project after liberalization was shaped and filtered through agrarian and subaltern stories, logics and subjects. In doing so, the book explores how the production of globalized property and labor in contemporary urban India is filtered through colonial instruments of land governance, living histories of unequal agrarian development, material geographies of labor migration labor and the worldly aspirations of peasant-farmers.

Three centuries of travel writing by Muslim womenedited by Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Daniel Majchrowicz and Sunil Sharma

Editors Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Daniel Majchrowicz, and Sunil Sharma retrieve, translate, annotate, and provide historical and cultural context for the writings of Muslim female travelers from the 17th to 20th centuries in ten different languages. Queens and captives, pilgrims and provocateurs, these women are diverse.

Their connection with Islam is also very broad, from devotees to those who have moved away from the religion. What unites these adventurers is the concern for other women they meet, their willingness to record their experiences, and the constant thoughts they cast home even as they journeyed through a world that was not always ready to welcome them.

Thinking about intrepid travelers of centuries past, we don’t usually put Muslim women at the top of the list. And yet, these stunning first-hand accounts completely change our preconceptions about who was exploring the world.


Changing the subject: feminist and queer politics in neoliberal IndiaSrila Roy

In changing the subject, Roy maps the rapidly changing terrain of gender and sexuality politics in India under the conditions of global neoliberalism. The consequences of India’s liberalization are paradoxical: the influx of global funds for social development and NGOs signals the cooptation and depoliticization of women’s rights struggles, while amplifying the visibility and vitalization of women’s rights. activism.

Roy reveals the specificity of activists’ and NGOs’ work around gender and sexuality issues through a decade-long ethnography of two organizations in West Bengal, one working on lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, and the another on the empowerment of rural women. Tracing shifts in feminist governmentality that have been enmeshed in transnational neoliberalism, Roy shows how historical and highly local feminist currents have shaped contemporary queer and non-queer neoliberal feminisms.

The interplay between historical techniques of activist governance and queer feminist governmentality’s emphasis on self-change offers a new way of experiencing feminism – both as always already co-opted and as a transformative force in the world.


State Capitalism: Why SOEs Matter and the Challenges They FaceLalita Som

The crises stemming from the global financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic have underscored the emergency role of the state and its smooth and smooth reactivation, for situations where private activity and markets are disrupted. In many countries, state-owned enterprises have played a crucial role in achieving this effort. As state-owned enterprises are increasingly called upon to play a role in emergencies, evidence suggests they misallocate capital and mismanage resources.

This is indicative of the conflicts of interest in corporate ownership and regulation as well as between the commercial and non-commercial objectives of state-owned enterprises, crony capitalism, the private agenda of public officials, the internal management of state-owned enterprises, the important role played by public banks and financial institutions and the conflicts that arise between the primary role of the state and its ownership of companies. The studies of eight countries from different regions undertaken for this book provide answers to these key policy questions related to state capitalism.


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