Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How caste-based social diversity gets translated into politics

Rise of the Plebeians? from Sri Aurobindo: A Contemporary Reader
Rise of the Plebeians?
The Changing Face of the Indian Legislative Assemblies
Edited by Christophe Jaffrelot, Sanjay Kumar

For decades, India has been a conservative democracy governed by the upper caste notables coming from the urban bourgeoisie, the landowning aristocracy and the intelligentsia. The democratisation of the ‘world’s largest democracy’ started with the rise of peasants’ parties and the politicisation of the lower castes who voted their own representatives to power as soon as they emancipated themselves from the elite’s domination. In Indian state politics, caste plays a major role and this book successfully studies how this caste-based social diversity gets translated into politics.

This is the first comprehensive study of the sociological profile of Indian political personnel at the state level. It examines the individual trajectory of 16 states, from the 1950s to 2000s, according to one dominant parameter—the evolution of the caste background of their elected representatives known as Members of the Legislative Assembly, or MLAs. The study also takes into account other variables like occupation, gender, age and education. ISBN: 9780415460927 Published March 09 2009 by Routledge India.

The City in American Political Development from Sri Aurobindo: A Contemporary Reader
The City in American Political Development
Edited by Richardson Dilworth

There are nearly 20,000 general-purpose municipal governments—cities—in the United States, employing more people than the federal government. About twenty of those cities received charters of incorporation well before ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and several others were established urban centers more than a century before the American Revolution. Yet despite their estimable size and prevalence in the United States, city government and politics has been a woefully neglected topic within the recent study of American political development.

The volume brings together some of the best of both the most established and the newest urban scholars in political science, sociology, and history, each of whom makes a new argument for rethinking the relationship between cities and the larger project of state-building. Each chapter shows explicitly how the American city demonstrates durable shifts in governing authority throughout the nation’s history. By filling an important gap in scholarship the book will thus become an indispensable part of the American political development canon, a crucial component of graduate and undergraduate courses in APD, urban politics, urban sociology, and urban history, and a key guide for future scholarship. ISBN: 9780415990998 Published March 02 2009 by Routledge.

Thanks for the tip on the book India After Gandhi by Guha. (I am not sure which comment train that was under) Although a bit pedantic in places its a pretty accessible detailed history of modern India that I enjoyed. It also clarified for me the unbalanced judicial systems regards the different communal/personal laws of different communities... another book on modern India I just read is called In spite of the Gods Its a fairly neo-liberalist narrative, that champions urban growth and globalization, but all in all not a bad read and interesting in that the book begins in Auroville. Re: India After Gandhi (thanks Rakesh) Tony Clifton Tue 10 Mar 2009 02:06 PM PDT

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