Pursuing themes from Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, this volume brings together nine leading political scientists from India and the United States to deliberate on the two largest democracies in the world. The book explores two opposed democratic journeys—from relative social equality and racial inequality to equal civil rights and economic inequality in the US; and deep social and economic inequalities to contested forms of equal citizenship in India. It discusses the concepts of citizenship, religion, capitalism, equality, and minorities. The essays also examine the specific historical and cultural formations within which each democracy works. Integrating diverse ideas from varied parts of the globe, the volume represents a unique attempt at understanding contemporary democratic practices in the two nations. Contributors • Rajeev Bhargava • Daniel Carpenter • Partha Chatterjee • Niraja Gopal Jayal • Ira Katznelson • Sudipta Kaviraj • Margaret Levi • Rogers M. Smith • Ashutosh Varshney
This absorbing collection of essays uses Tocqueville's analysis of democracy in America to embark on a comparative study of democracy in India and the USA.' — Nivedita Menon, Professor, Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi ‘The editors have, with their characteristic brilliance, taken Tocqueville elsewhere. They and their comrades take Algeria to India, and see America from across the sea. They tour American democracy in its times and untimeliness. To travel with Tocqueville in such good company is a scholarly pleasure of the highest order.' — Anne Norton, Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania ‘A fitting tribute to Tocqueville... these essays represent a major contribution to the scholarship on democracy in India, and perhaps the US.' — Yogendra Yadav, Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi ‘This volume explores how democracy has taken root in strikingly contrasting cultural and social traditions in the United States and India. Alexis de Tocqueville himself paved the way for this comparative project not only with Democracy in America but also his in-depth reading notes on Indian history and hierarchies. The outcome is an absorbing analysis of politics and society across time and space.' — Olivier Zunz, Commonwealth Professor of History, University of Virginia
"This book will be of interest to scholars and students of political science, history, and comparative politics. Journalists and policymakers will also final it useful."
Partha Chatterjee is Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies, Columbia University, and Honorary Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta.
Ira Katznelson is Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University and Research Associate, Centre for History and Economics, Cambridge University