Undergraduate Course: Understanding Indian Politics (PLIT10088)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||As a result of globalization and its status as a key BRIC state, scholarly interest in India has risen. The course seeks to understand the puzzle of Indian democracy and explain the numerous paradoxes and challenges underpinning Indian politics and society. The course is divided in three parts.
In the first part (weeks 1-3), the making of the Indian post-Independence state is set out, by analyzing how it is shaped by, but also departs from the British Indian order. Specific attention is given to how the Indian Nation is imagined and how political institutions were designed to accommodate the multiplicity of ethnic, social, religious and economic cleavages within Indian society.
The second part (weeks 4-9) of the course considers, explains but also questions some of the dramatic changes that have been attributed to Indian politics since Independence, starting from (a) the transformation of the party system and the nature of government following on from this; (b) the gradual inclusion of lower and Other Backward Castes in the institutions of the state; (c) the Saffronization of Indian politics linked with the rise of Hindu nationalism; (d) the economic paradigm shift from command to market economy and globalization; (e) the resurgence of Indian federalism resulting from the changing party system and economic liberalization; (f) the paradigm shift in foreign policy from non-alignment to Western rapprochement.
In the third and final part (weeks 10-11) we touch upon some of the key challenges facing the Indian polity. Domestic challenges relate to ongoing ethnic disputes, especially near the border with Pakistan (Kashmir) China (North-East), and to the Naxalist rebellion. We also address the issue of rising income inequalities between rural and urban India, Muslims versus Hindu India, female versus male India. A third challenge is the need to provide more effective and transparent governance that is less tied to patron-client relations, and that is ecologically more sustainable. Key international challenges remain India's relationship with Pakistan, the balance between realist and normative foreign policy (for instance in relation to Myanmar and Sri Lanka) and India-China relations.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students should have at least 4 Politics/International Relations courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Section for admission to this course **
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Essay: 42.5%, 2000 words essay
Tutorial participation: 15% (7.5% individual participation, 7.5% group presentation)
Short deadline assignment: 42.5%, 2 questions of 1000 words each
|No Exam Information
| * understanding the dynamics of Indian politics since Independence, and demonstrate processes of continuity and change in Indian politics
* critical appraisal of competing theoretical perspectives and empirical analyses on the transformation of Indian politics and society since Independence
* situate Indian domestic and foreign politics in a broader comparative perspective, especially by drawing comparisons with other developing states, situating India within comparative understandings of state-market-society relations, comparative theories of state and nation-building, comparative federalism, comparative theories for governing divided societies.
* development of research, analytical and presentation skills, through guided research in preparation for assessment and tutorial presentations
|Preliminary Reading: |
Adeney, Katherine and Andrew Wyatt (2011), Contemporary India (Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan)
Brass, Paul (1994), The Politics of India since Independence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
Gopal Jayal, Niraja (2008), Democracy in India (Delhi: Oxford University Press)
Gopal Jayal, Niraja and Pratap Bhanu Metha, eds., (2010), The Oxford Companion to Politics in India (Delhi: Oxford University Press)
Guha, Ramachandra (2007). India after Gandhi. The History of the World¿s Largest Democracy (New York: Harpers Collins).
Subrata K. Mitra (2011), Politics in India. Structure, Process and Policy (London: Routledge)
Stepan, Alfred, Linz, Juan J. and Yogendra Yadav (2011). State-Nations. India and other Multinational Democracies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||This course has a quota. Preference will be given to Politics and IR students.
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||Plus 1 hr tutorial per week
|Course organiser||Dr Wilfried Swenden
Tel: (0131 6)50 4255
|Course secretary||Ms Alison Lazda
Tel: (0131 6)51 5572