Saturday, February 11, 2012

Some books and articles that I have been reading

mostly picked up through John Harriss papers, trying to understand development in India in rural and urban settings and how caste, class and power work. The articles of Jeffrey Wittsoe mentioned in a previous post give some idea about how things work in rural settings. The papers below by Benjamin, Roy, Harris discuss various aspects of functioning in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai respectively. It is interesting that some of the topics like caste which are frowned upon in polite company are openly discussed in some of these articles. So far the impression is that apart from power relations however they might have arisen and attempts to preserve or perputate them, the actual working vary greatly from place to place and rural to urban settings and changes over time. All this is preparation for the coming trip to India since usually I do not seem to understand from discussions with Kamma relatives or academic friends.
Power Matters:Essays on Institutions, Politics, and Society in India by John Harriss From the review Politics, power and society :
"There is an increasing tendency today among international organisations, some sections of academics and policy makers to regard politics as dirty, not truly representative, and of course as an inefficient system for delivering development. There is growing emphasis on civil society, social capital, and participation. Against this backdrop, this volume strikes a very different and refreshing note. It is fundamentally a vigorous defence of the issues that are coming to be sidelined by mainstream development literature — politics, power relations, culture, and class analysis. "
Governance, economic settings and poverty in Bangalore By Solomo Benjamin(April 2000)
Representation and Development in Urban Peripheries: Reflections on Governance in Ahmedabad Suburbs by Indrajit Roy (October 2006)
Antinomies of Empowerment:Observations on Civil Society, Politics and Urban Governance in India by John Harriss (June 2007)

The next two are books that came out in 2011 probably based on earlier seminars.
Understanding India's New Political Economy: A Great Transformation? Edited by Sanjay Ruparelia and others, also available in Kidle books.
A Companion to the Anthropology of India edited by Isabelle Clark-Deces , seems available through Wiley online.

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