'The Retreat of Democracy' presents an expanded and reworked selection of Basu's best journalistic and academic writings on political and economic themes since the late 1990s. In addition to Basus critical essays on globalization and democracy, the book also moves onto wider terrain to ideas in economics, anthropological observations on social norms, the role of culture, and travel in India and abroad. While the essays range from studies on major economists such as Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz, to humorous encounters with Indian bureaucracy, two recurring themes run thoughout: first, that the ultimate objective of policy-making must be the progress of the disadvantaged, and ignoring market laws and individual incentives courts failure; second, that for the successful crafting of economic policy it is important to recognize markets as embedded in specific cultures and social norms. This volume is a clear, intelligible and highly engaging showcase of Basus global and humanistic views on politics, economics and democracy.
Retreat of Democracy and Other Itinerant Essays on Globalization, Economics, and India