ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

The State of the Science of Politics in Contemporary India

ICSSR Research Surveys and Explorations: Political Science edited by Achin Vanaik (4 Volumes), New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013;₹3,995 (4-volume set).

The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) under Javeed Alams chairmanship undertook an ambitious project of surveying and exploring the state of research in political science in India from 2003 till 2009. It is a bold departure from earlier surveys of research. Achin Vanaik is the general editor of this four-volume set, which addresses the Indian state, democracy, political thought and Indias engagement with the world. Vanaik in his introduction to the project lays down its distinctiveness in three ways. First, this survey contextualises the literature; second, future research directions are indicated; and finally, the personal stamp of the reviewers in terms of their personal preferences and positions are put forth.

Vanaik sums up the general thrust of research in political sciences as surveyed in all the four volumes as the search for an Indian distinctiveness (p xiii). Of course, he qualifies this by stating that the Indian is not always to be seen as a mere synonym for the national. The other feature following from this search is the theoretical and conceptual breaks and innovations to produce a theory, which is also distinctively Indian. A critical engagement with Western categories has emerged out of this search, especially under the influence of post-positivist approaches.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.