India since 1980

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This book considers the remarkable transformations that have taken place in India since 1980, a period that began with the assassination of the formidable Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Her death, and that of her son Rajiv seven years later, marked the end of the Nehru-Gandhi era. Although the country remains one of the few democracies in the developing world, many of the policies instigated by these earlier regimes have been swept away to make room for dramatic alterations in the political, economic, and social landscape. Sumit Ganguly and Rahul Mukherji, two leading political scientists of South Asia, chart these developments with particular reference to social and political mobilization, the rise of the BJP and its challenge to Nehruvian secularism, and the changes to foreign policy that, in combination with its meteoric economic development, have ensured India a significant place on the world stage. The book is intended for students and anyone interested in understanding this diverse, energetic, and youthful democracy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Ganguly and Mukherji provide a brisk, accessible, and wide-ranging introduction to the momentous changes underway in contemporary India. It is the only single-volume discussion available of four of the largest themes in contemporary India's transformation: deepening democracy, secularism, economic reform, and India's place in the world. It will serve both as an introduction for newcomers and as a starting point for reflection and debate for specialists.”
– Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President, Center for Policy Research, New Delhi, India

“The authors of this book have very successfully accomplished the virtually impossible task of analyzing what they describe as four revolutionary transformations of the Indian economy, polity, and society (in particular, its secular values). The transformations have the potential to remake India’s socioeconomic strategies and policies in a profound way, including those relating to national security and external relations. In short, eminently readable chapters devoted to each transformation, the authors have succinctly analyzed its characteristics and contents and provided copious references to the literature for a reader to pursue them in greater detail. I highly recommend this book, which provides a brief but deep analysis for anyone with a serious interest in India.”
– T.N. Srinivasan, Samuel C. Park Jr. Professor of Economics, Yale University

“India Since 1980 offers a remarkably dense analysis of most topical issues. The main achievements of ‘the world's largest democracy’ are highlighted, but the challenges it has to cope with – including the crisis of its secularism – are scrutinized too. A must for the noninitiated reader as well as for those who need to put what they know about this puzzling country in perspective.”
– Dr. Christophe Jaffrelot, Senior Research Fellow, CERI/Sciences Po

“One of the most neglected stories in world politics in the last three decades has been India’s political, economic, social and diplomatic emergence, within the continued framework of electoral democracy. In this pithy, absorbing, and highly original book, Ganguly and Mukherji trace the four transformations that are launching and challenging India in the new century. One can find no better concise guide to this—the world’s largest—democracy.”
– Larry Diamond, Stanford University, and Director of Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law

“Sumit Ganguly and Rahul Mukherji have dared into the realm of present-past and dealt with it in a manner that is marked by conviction and felicitous ease, producing a book of substance.”
– The Hindu

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521860932
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2011
  • Series: World Since 1980 Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Sumit Ganguly is a Professor of Political Science and the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is the author of numerous books including India's Foreign Policy: Retrospect and Prospect (2010); Nuclear Proliferation in South Asia, with S. Paul Kapur (2008); and The Routledge Handbook of Asian Security Studies (2010), co-edited with Andrew Scobell and Joseph Liow.

Rahul Mukherji is Associate Professor of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore. He is the editor of India's Economic Transition: The Politics of Reforms (2007) and India: The Political Economy of Reforms (2004), co-edited with Bibek Debroy.

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Table of Contents

1. Four revolutions and India's future; 2. The transformation of India's foreign policy; 3. India's economic transformation; 4. Political mobilization in India; 5. Indian secularism since 1980; 6. India's trajectory: promises and challenges.

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