Rethinking Indian Political Institutions

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Crispin Bates, Subho Basu
Anthem Press, 2005 - History - 262 pages
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Modern India is emerging as a global power within which the Indian state plays a critical role in delivering economic development and maintaining the integrity and unity of society. By drawing upon informed essays from scholars and researchers engaged in the field, this volume provides critical, empirical and conceptual insights into state-society relationships over issues as diverse as cable TV networks, urban planning, garbage collection, economic liberalization, coalition politics, provincial political rhetoric, individual rights and political participation and the management of village and municipal councils.
In an era dominated by news of state failures in many Asian and African countries, the political institutions of the Indian state present an unusual combination of flexibility and stability. Within a democratic system, they enable the state to absorb and respond to popular pressures while winning public support for radical solutions to pressing social problems. Stretching from the centre down to the village, these institutions form a labyrinthine structure, occasionally harmonious but often the arena of intense economic, social and political conflict, the outcome of which will prove vital for India's hopes of future growth and development.
This book will be an invaluable reading for students across the disciplines of history, sociology, politics and government, as well as to development practitioners, policy makers, and readers keen to learn more about recent innovations in the theory and practice of governance in India.

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A Review
Rural Politics
An Explanation of
Politics at Provincial Level
Politics at Urban Town Level
Understanding Local Politics Democracy and Civil
Political Institutions Strategies of Governance and Forms
The Development of Panchayati Raj

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About the author (2005)

Dr Crispin Batesis Senior Lecturer in Modern South Asian History in the School of History & Classics at the University of Edinburgh and Director of Edinburgh University’s Centre for South Asian studies. He has published widely on various aspects of Indian social and economic history, mostly concerning rural Indian (and tribal) labour and labour migration and the history of colonial Madhya Pradesh. A visiting JSPS Fellow in Tokyo University (2002–03), he has also several times been a Visiting Fellow at the Netaji Institute for Asian Studies in Calcutta. He recently completed a modern history of South Asia entitled Subalterns and the Raj and is currently preparing a volume on adivasis (tribals) in colonial central India for publication.    
Dr Subho Basuis presently an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University where he teaches Indian History in general and nationalist politics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in particular. A former Fellow of the Centre of South Asian Studies and Wolfson College, Cambridge, visiting fellow at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, and teaching fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; he has published widely on the politics of industrial workers in Bengal. He has recently published a book entitledDoes Class Matter? Colonial Capitalism and Workers‚ Resistance in Bengal 1890–1940with Oxford University Press, and has edited a book onElectoral Politics in South Asiawith Prof. Suranjan Das of Calcutta University published in March 2000 by K P Bagchi Press, Calcutta.

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