Making Sense of Indian Democracy

Making Sense of Indian Democracy

Yogendra Yadav combines the insights of political science with the political sense of an activist. This book invites us to take a fresh look at India's first republic, 1950—2019.

The first section provides a historical overview, the second a comparative overview situating Indian political practices next to those in diverse countries. The third focuses on theory and method to look at the specific nature of the Indian state; at polls, predictions, and psephology; and at the virtues and limits of anthropological fieldwork for understanding political praxis. The last section proposes electoral and democratic reforms that seem desirable and feasible if Indian democracy is to persist.

Indian politics is usually written about by journalists and scholars. Yogendra Yadav is almost singular in the Indian political world. Possessing the apparatus of a university professor, he is also a respected TV commentator, a psephologist, and an original thinker. All these aspects are apparent in this book.

How did we end up here? This book responds to a question that troubles every student of Indian democracy today. It does so by

  • tracing the history of India’s creolised democracy
  • placing its record in comparative perspective
  • assessing the relevant theoreties and methodologies
  • saying what is and what is not to be done.
  • Author

    YOGENDRA YADAV is an academic turned activist. Before quitting academia, he was Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, where he co-authored the first report on the State of Democracy in South Asia. He has also co-authored (with Alfred Stepan and Juan Linz) Crafting State-Nations (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011), and written school textbooks in Political Science. A recipient of the Malcolm Adiseshiah Award, and of the South Solidarity Award from the International Political Science Association, he has been on the advisory board of Studies in Indian Politics and the European Journal of Political Research. 
    He was Fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg Zu Berlin in 2009–10 and has held visiting fellowships at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and Brown University. He is currently the national president of Swaraj India, a political party involved in farmers’ movements and pro-democracy struggles.
  • Details

    Paperback

    422 pages

    World rights

  • From the reviews

    "This collection is like refined gold, as it puts the core of his essays in one place... an aid to thinking through post-1989 India — a book to read, mull over and argue with." Mahesh Rangarajan in Indian Express
     
    "Few public intellectuals in India understand the pulse of this continent-sized country like Yadav. This book will enrich the political sense of the general reader while journalists and academics will benefit from frameworks to analyse Indian politics and democracy. Activists will find here a readymade charter of demands and action" Rahul Verma, India Today
     
    "Making Sense of Indian Democracy should rank among the most incisive reflections on Indian democracy. Yadav astutely combines theoretical sophistication and a practitioner’s account, meant not simply to be digested by social scientists but also the discerning layperson who wishes for something more than the readily packaged narratives told through overly simplistic plot lines and borrowed experiences. The diagnostic tone of analysis is remarkably free of any abstraction and moralism”  Rajeev Kadami, Hindu Business Line 
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