Author: Subrata K Mitra
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0761993142
This important book discusses the politics of social change in independent India. Using the post-colonial state as the backdrop, it addresses the theoretical issues of transformation in a multi-cultural and hierarchical society which is coping with the twin challenges of democratisation and development.
According to the author, the main theoretical problem arises from the fact that the institutions and processes through which the objective of social change should be realised often carry the stamp of an alien culture and therefore do not enjoy the legitimacy they must have in order to be effective.
Professor Subrata Mitra problematises these issues through discussions of the models and methods of social change, the interaction between modern institutions and traditional society, and the formation and integration of the modern Indian state. The essays in Part I examine variously certain Western models of Indian politics; religion and politics; and the relevance of caste. Part II deals with politics and the social process. Among the issues discussed are the anti-reservation movement; subnational movements and local elites; and transformation of the party system. The final section is devoted to analyzing the state in the context of social change.
By drawing upon both the instrumental rationality of the actor and the role of culture and religion which serve as the springboard for values, the author combines rational choice theory and critical culturalism to show how individual decisions translate into collective action. The author thus stresses the role of local political processes in order to understand the resilience of the Indian state.
Extremely stimulating and theoretically sound, this book will be of interest to those in the fields of politics, sociology, anthropology and political and social theory.
List of Tables
List of Figures
PART 1: MODELS AND METHODS OF SOCIAL CHANGE
Flawed Paradigms: Some Western Models of Indian Politics
Paradoxes of Power: Political Science as Morality Play
Desecularising the State: Religion and Politics in India after Independence
Caste and the Politics of Identity: Beyond the Orientalist Discourse
PART 2: POLITICS AND THE SOCIAL PROCESS
Ballot Box and Local Power: Elections in an Indian Village
The Perils of Promoting Equality: The Latent Significance of the Anti-reservation Movement in India
Room to Manoeuvre in the Middle: Local Elites, Political Action and the State in India
The Rational Politics of Cultural Nationalism: Sub-national Movements of South Asia in Comparative Perspective
Party Organisation and Policy-making in a Changing Environment: The Indian National Congress
Transformation of the Party System, Social Change and Civil Society in India
PART 3: THE STATE AND SOCIAL CHANGE
India: Dynastic Rule or the Democratisation of Power?
Between Transaction and Transcendence: The State and the Institutionalisation of Power in India
Crowds and Power: Democracy and the Crisis of Governability in India
Epilogue: Crisis and Resilience in Indian Democracy
About the Author