University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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Moving Beyond Nation State: State Level Politics and Economy in India

Abstract:There is much recognition and appreciation of states being viewed as important units for analyzing politics and economics in India that has been undergoing a process of significant transition and reconfiguration in the last 30 years. The on-going regionalization/federalization of the polity and economy has led to the emergence of states, both as prime actors as well as arenas where politics and economics take concrete shape on the ground. States are now being considered absolutely “critical” to a nuanced understanding of issues in emergent “national” politics in recent India. Inevitably, the greater level of recognition of constituent states in the Indian Union as the primary units of analyses has led to the emergence of state politics as an autonomous discipline. Ironically, the new found exalted status of the discipline of state politics is in sharp contrast to its earlier dismal status of a mere sub-discipline, an appendage of the discipline of Indian politics (read “national politics”). Even in the discipline of comparative politics, state-level variances have of late received much more focus in the discussion of themes like ethnic movements, party systems, developmental experiences, political institutions, and democratization, unlike in the past when India was always referred to in cross-national perspective.

Speaker:Prof. Ashutosh Kumar

Bio:Ashutosh Kumar is Professor, Department of Political Science, Panjab University, Chandigarh, before which he lectured at the Universities of Jammu and Delhi. He has been associated with the Lokniti network, Centre for Developing Studies, Delhi as state coordinator for Punjab and has been visiting faculty at the University of Tampere, Finland and at Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris. He has been the Chief Editor of Punjab Journal Social Sciences for four years (2012-16) and is a member of Research Promotion cell of Panjab University. His area of interest is in state politics in India with focus on the issues related to elections, identities and development. He has co-edited a volume titled Globalisation and Politics of Identity in India (Pearson-Longman, New Delhi, 2008) and has edited a volume titled Rethinking State Politics in India: Regions within Regions (Routledge, 2011, Second new paperback edition in press). Professor Kumar has also published in national and international Journals like JAAS, SAR, JPS, India Review, Asian Ethnicity, JJPS, EPW, Seminar, and SIP among others. He has co-edited a volume on ‘Electoral Politics in Indian States in India: 2014 Elections and After’ which is under publication process with Orient Black swan.