The Materiality of Politics: Subject positions in politics
'The Materiality of Politics' uses a series of historical illustrations to reveal the physicality and underlying 'materiality' of political processes. The political subject of the study is the collective political actor poised against governmental rules for stabilizing order. Samaddar's tour de force propels readers through an account of blood, violence, bodies, controls, laws and conflicts. Politics is examined not as an abstraction, but as a 'real' field of dynamic factors rooted in everyday life.
Volume 2, subtitled 'Subject Positions in Politics' focuses on the political subject emerging from post-colonial politics. The 1940s are closely examined in order to trace the genesis of the modern Indian political subject, his/her dreams of liberty and recognition of freedom's qualifications. Contentious politics illuminates the dual tendency of the political subject to demand justice in court, and engage in rebellious street politics, clamouring for justice and equality. As the author demonstrates, the subject's desire for the autonomy of politics manifests itself in various ways.