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Indian Democracy: From Liberal Democracy to Ethnic Majoritarianism

Indian Democracy: From Liberal Democracy to Ethnic Majoritarianism 2:47

This seminar will examine the ways in which the Indian democratic experience is unsettling identities, unleashing new forms of mobilization and in the process transforming the meaning of citizenship as Indians experience it.

GLS 336/POL 439/SAS 336: Indian Democracy: From Liberal Democracy to Ethnic Majoritarianism
The Swani Family Global Seminar

July 12 to August 20, 2021

Pratap B. Mehta, professor of politics, Ashoka University
Robert Phillips, lecturer in Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies

India has been described as an "unlikely democracy." As Tocqueville argued, democracy, in principle transforms all the other social forms it touches, from religion to intermediate associations. This seminar will examine the ways in which the Indian democratic experience is unsettling identities, unleashing new forms of mobilization and in the process transforming the meaning of citizenship as Indians experience it. We will ask: Is Indian Democracy moving in a more illiberal and authoritarian direction? If so, what explains this transformation? How does this transformation look in comparative perspective?

Although the seminar, at its core, focuses on issues in the social sciences, Mehta welcomes students from all disciplines to add additional perspectives to the conversation. His intention is to tailor the course to each student’s “India interests.” Early on, students will develop ideas for final projects to address those interests in relation to the larger seminar material. Faculty from both Ashoka and Princeton will facilitate the development of these projects.

Ashoka students will join Princeton students for the seminar. Collaboration among the students will be a key part of the seminar, from collaborative projects (e.g., a short video on some topic of common interest) to shared cultural activities (e.g., virtual tours of each campus and town, movies, food, a lecture on and/or virtual class on Bollywood).

Robert Phillips, lecturer in Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, will instruct students in Hindi. 

This seminar fulfills the Social Analysis (SA) general requirement as well as a requirement for the certificate in South Asian Studies.

Please note: In order to find the application in GPS, search for the individual program. There is a drop-down menu that you will have to change from “outgoing” to “program enrollment” (found next to SHOW). Term [Summer], and then click [Search]. If you have any questions, please contact Sam Evans.

PIIRS Global Seminars are made possible in part by the generous contributions of alumni and friends and ongoing efforts of the Office of Development.

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