Civil Society as a conceptual category across different disciplines and ideological and theoretical frameworks has enjoyed an acceptability that no other concept has in the recent past. In response to what could, perhaps, be referred to as the post-euphoric versions of the civil society, scholars across theoretical dispositions began to look for the critical limits of posturing core issues of democracy through the prism of civil society. It is in this context that Partha Chatterjee has made one of the most important interventions by opposing the idea of civil society to that of political society.'Re-framing Democracy and Agency in India: Interrogating Political Society' critically unpacks the concept of 'political society', which was formulated as a response to the idea of civil society in a postcolonial context. The volume addresses the theoretical issues of political society through a number of detailed case studies from across India: Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Delhi and Maharashtra. These case studies, combined with a sharp focus on the concept of political society, provide those interested in democracy and its changing patterns in India with an indispensable collection of works, brought together in their common pursuit to highlight the limitations with different core concepts that Chatterjee has formulated. Centred around five themes - the relation between the civil and the political; the role of middlemen and their impact on mobility of the subaltern groups; elites and leadership; the fragmentation and intra-subaltern conflicts and its implications for subaltern agency; and finally the idea of moral claims and moral community - this volume re-frames issues of democracy and agency in India within a wider scope than has ever before been published, and gathers ideas from some of the foremost scholars in the field. The volume concludes with a rejoinder from Partha Chatterjee.
Re-framing Democracy and Agency in India
Interrogating Political Society