This course is meant to provide students with an introduction to the socio-political systems of contemporary India and its strategic emergence in the 21st century. It will critically explore the sources of India’s political, cultural and religious diversity and its progress towards democracy, development and military power. Students will engage with basic social science ideas and their specific applications to Indian dynamics, such as nationalism, identity, development, elections, power status-seeking, secularism, casteism and non-violence. The course will be livened up with sounds and visions as we plan to use video screenings, display of photographs, interviews and music recordings to help students familiarize with, and better construe, the dynamics of India and its multiple populations, including its diaspora.
- To provide students with basic knowledge on India's most recent historical, political, socio-economic and strategic developments.
- To appreciate in a comparative perspective the problems and challenges of postcolonial Indian politics, from the diverse conceptions of socio-economic development to the controversial practices of democracy.
- To understand and gain familiarity with the multiplicity of India's social, cultural and religious patterns.
- To analyse the diplomatic role, economic influence and military impact of a rising India in the post-Cold war Asian and international order.
- To help students follow, understand, and critique news and events happening in societies and polities that are foreign to them.