Critical Studies in Politics:

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Author : Aditya Nigam and Sanjay Palshikar , Nivedita Menon
Pages : 564
Edition : 2014

Critical Studies in Politics is a collection of essays that redefines the discipline of political science. It brings into view objects of study not normally visible to the discipline, through a creative engagement with other disciplinary formations.

The volume is divided into four broad intersecting sections. The question of constructions of selfhood emerges as a central pre-occupation in the first titled ‘Exploring Selfhood’. The essays in this section–ranging from the modern Dalit self to the construction of the Asura over time–investigate the construction of the Self in the face of the Other; and looks at selfhood, not so much as a question of past cultural memory but as self-fashioning in the present.

The second section–‘Spatiality and Power’–analyses the idea of spatiality and explains its relationship with power. It discusses issues ranging from urbanisation and the politics of SEZs, to the entry of cinema halls in Delhi, and its implications for the formation of the ‘public’. The third section titled ‘State and Governmentality’ examines state practices as they render legible various aspects of populations–from prison labour under colonialism to the organisation of official memory by the postcolonial state.

‘Reconfiguring Categories of Thought’–the final section–seeks to unsettle conceptual categories such as ‘capitalism’, ‘science’, ‘politics’ and ‘development’.

Located in the ‘interstices of disciplines’, these essays by scholars from mainstream political science departments are at once contemporary and historical. This volume will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, film and culture studies, gender studies and anthropology.

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