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Gurpreet Mahajan


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In this groundbreaking work, Gurpreet Mahajan tackles the predisposition of political theory to be limited by the Western canon. Bringing into focus how concepts central to the modern democratic political imaginary are interpreted in India, this book elaborates the ways that ideas of freedom, equality and difference are layered with new meanings and how questions of religion and state, critical reason and embedded self are understood in the Indian context. Part of Zed’s World Political Theories series, this remarkable work offers a glimpse of the social and political life of contemporary India, and how it differs from the dominant liberal paradigm.
'A welcome text for specialists and general readers alike.' Fred Dallmayr, University of Notre Dame 'A nuanced and critical introduction to the ideas that frame the world's largest democracy.' Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University 'A brilliant, lucid account of how to get beyond the "imperialism of categories" to a voice that can articulate political ideas that are culturally authentic yet open to the other.' Susanne and Loyd Rudolph, University of Chicago 'An important statement from one of the foremost Indian political theorists.' Rajeev Bhargava, Director, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
Gurpreet Mahajan is Professor at the Centre for Political Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has published widely on issues relating to multiculturalism, cultural diversity and minority rights, secularism and civil society. Her publications include Explanation and Understanding in the Human Sciences, Identities and Rights: Aspects of Liberal Democracy in India, and The Multicultural Path: Issues of Diversity and Discrimination in Democracy; she has edited Democracy, Difference and Social Justice and The Public and the Private: Issues of Democratic Citizenship.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Front cover
World Political Theories i
About the author ii
Title iii
Copyright iv
Contents v
Dedication vi
Acknowledgements vii
Glossary ix
1 Indian political theory: beyond cultural essentialism 1
2 Equality 12
3 Freedom 41
4 Religion 70
5 Diversity 97
6 The language of democratic discourse 127
Notes 138
References 167
Index 176
About Zed Books 182