Neera Chandhoke

Neera Chandhoke
Jawaharlal Nehru University | JNU · Centre for the Study of Law and Governance

About

80
Publications
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631
Citations

Publications

Publications (80)
Article
Zoya Hasan, Agitation to Legislation: Negotiating Equity and Justice in India. New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2018, 178 pp., ₹675, ISBN: 9780199482177 (Hardcover).
Chapter
Conversations on Justice from National, International, and Global Perspectives - edited by Jean-Marc Coicaud January 2019
Book
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Is political violence permissible in a democracy? When?
Article
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The terms tolerance and intolerance that dominate our public discourse today are bandied about as if they were self-explanatory. Matters have come to such a pass that intellectuals are accused of subjecting the Prime Minister to a barrage of intolerance since 2002. At this precise moment of our political history it might be worthwhile to revisit th...
Research
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The essay engages with the basic presuppositions of global democracy and suggests that if voices from the global south remain unrepresented, cosmopolitanism betrays its own precepts
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Political theorists no doubt have to take the history of injustice, for example, untouchability, seriously. But, the beginning point of repair of historical injustice is the "here" and the "now," the democratic context that shapes collective lives and aspirations. Comprehension of how deep the roots of injustice are, is important. But, it is a lso...
Article
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In recent times the concept of global civil society has made its appearance on national and international intellectual, as well as political agendas, in a major way. It is of some interest that two other concepts, both of which call for transcendence of national boundaries in precisely the same way as global civil society does, have also made their...
Article
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Nehruvian non-alignment is finished, South-South solidarity remains a dream, and anti-imperialism appears today as a quaint remnant of a past, even though imperialism is alive and kicking. In the process we have lost out on something that is rather important, teaching our children that our imaginations and our energies have to be harnessed to the c...
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Drawing on the Mahabharata, a common source of our cultural heritage, this article points out that the epic enunciates what raj dharma, or a ruler's duties, should be. There is nothing esoteric or mystic about them; they are things that we all know. The rules of dharma serve as rules of the limits of power. The rules of dharma are also the rights o...
Article
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The Indian state has responded to demands made by civil society campaigns that are sometimes supported and sometimes initiated by the Supreme Court. But we are defi nitely not in the midst of a social revolution. This, in large measure, is due to the nature of civil society interventions.
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Over the last two decades, academics (based largely in the west) and activists have invested a great deal of energy in global poverty. This article asks: why should people not be poor? Surprisingly, this question elicits a number of answers. The pragmatically inclined can suggest that the existence of a large number of poor people poses a direct th...
Chapter
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Based on a review of literature written in the first decade of the twenty-first century until the 1990s, this chapter examines the factors that contributed to the success of democracy in India. It highlights the achievement of Indian democracy in institutionalizing political equality and in defying Western democratic theories that require certain p...
Chapter
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This chapter examines the literature on representation deficit in civil society in India. It discusses policymakers and civil society organization advocates' establishment of parallel systems that can substitute for the state in areas of service delivery. It also discusses whether civil society organizations can substitute for what the state should...
Article
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In the recent past the Western-dominated global institutional order has come to be challenged by the bloc of rising powers. The question of whether brics has the ability to reshape global governance is an important one and carries significance for the global South, which has been adversely affected by global institutions. Yet the reliance on the ca...
Chapter
Globalization must be one of the most intellectually stalked, intensely observed, comprehensively analysed and perhaps over-researched processes in recent academic history. One would have thought, therefore, that some of the crucial issues that globalization has catapulted to the foreground of political debate and discussion would have been subject...
Article
On the assumption that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is going to be re-elected in this month's assembly election, he is being touted by many in the Bharatiya Janata Party as the party's prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Gujarat is assumed to have benefi ted from Modi's administrative acumen and its economic perform...
Article
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The paper argues that the concept of secularism that has emerged from the Indian political and constitutional tradition has three features: the state does not establish any religion, so that there is no state religion; all citizens are granted the freedom of religious belief; the state ensures equality among religions and religious groups, so that...
Article
Compared to the grand revolutionary imaginaries of an earlier era, the demands of civil society campaigns in India today are practically tame, limited as they are by the boundaries of what is politically permissible and feasible. They do not demand ruptures in the system, all that they urge is that social issues be regarded as of some import and so...
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Whereas separatist movements in the developed world have stimulated the interest of normative political theorists, separatism in the postcolonial world tend to fall into the category of identity/civil wars, ethno-nationalism, terrorism, and security. However, the mandate of these studies proscribes the raising of normative issues, such as justice....
Chapter
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This article explores the specific features of civil society in India and their implications for the concept of civil society in general. It traces the discovery of civil society and discusses its historical trajectory and professionalization in India. It suggests that the experience of India clearly illustrates the notion that civil society is a s...
Article
It is time holders of state power understand that mobilisation in civil society against, or for policies, is an integral part of democratic politics, particularly when representatives have betrayed us time and again. The State enacts, implements, and adjudicates policies in our name, and governs in our name. We therefore have the right to ask why w...
Article
Given the turmoil in Kashmir today, a number of right-thinking people have come to defend the right of the people of Kashmir to a state of their own; or more simply that the Kashmiri people possess the right of secession via the right of self-determination. But if self-determination has proved to be the veritable will-o'-the-wisp in recent history...
Article
The main objective of this article is to interrogate some of the dominant conceptualizations that have come to cluster around the concept of civil society in recent theory. Due to a variety of historical factors, these conceptualizations have romanticized the concept to a large extent. In the process, meaningful or politically relevant discussion o...
Article
In this paper I argue that international law sees secession as a matter for and of politics. Therefore, this law cannot give us an answer to the many questions raised by secession. We might need to examine the issue of secession from the vantage point of political philosophy. However, liberal political theories of secession do not take into account...
Article
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This paper raises important questions about the role of civil society in the context of violence and conflict. Drawing on field work conducted in the city of Ahmedabad, India, the author explores a specific case of serious failure on the part of civil society, state officials and organisations to effectively respond and protest the perpetration of...
Article
This article analyzes the tensions and paradoxes that are emerging as developing nation governments and civil society organizations alike institutionalize. It examines the prospect for effective representation and for democratic governance in the face of the increasing complexities and professionalization of the public's business and of non-governm...
Article
The civil society argument about representing people and their needs has now been around for about 25 years. The problems of the world remain as intractable, even as the numbers of agents who seek to negotiate the ills of the human condition have expanded exponentially. In popular imagination, it is still the State that seems to occupy a central po...
Chapter
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This essay attempts to address some of the rather significant issues raised by Törnquist in the introductory chapter to this volume. He suggests that the best way to study and evaluate democracy is to disaggregate the concept and the set of practices associated with the concept. Such disarticulation is a necessary precondition for any reasoned and...
Article
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Dialogue appears particularly appropriate for plural societies, which are marked by a variety of perspectives, beliefs, commitments and values. But plural societies tend to be stamped by deep disagreements on the basic norms that should govern the polity. For this reason alone, these societies can prove deeply divided and fractious. How do defender...
Article
One of the most intractable problems confronting South Asian states and societies has been the presence of secessionist movements and insistent demands for a state of one's own. Though societies and states tend to react violently when faced with such demands, many serious issues are embedded in secessionist demands, as well as in the responses to t...
Article
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The idea of civil society has proved very elusive, escaping conceptual grasps and evading sure-footed negotiation of the concept itself. Resurrected in a very definite historical setting, that of authoritarian states, the concept of civil society came to signify a set of social and political practices that sought to engage with state power. The clo...
Article
Elections draw near in Gujarat but the survivors of the 2002 pogrom continue to live a miserable life, belying the claims of a "Vibrant Gujarat" by chief minister Narendra Modi who has embarked upon a re-election campaign emphasising the future over the shameful past. The plight of the riot victims raises questions about the state of democracy in G...
Article
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Global civil society organisations in their quest to ensure global justice for the deprived, the marginalised, and, especially, the victims of globalisation, have succeeded in drawing the world's attention to an impressive extent. However, the imperatives of global justice must configure the presence of the other essential factor that can ensure a...
Article
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Ever since the 'ethnic explosion' and secessionism blasted across the world in the mid-1980s, theorists have worked overtime to devise solutions to what appears to be an intractable problem. The problem is simply this: how can the escalation of ethnic discontent into violence, armed struggle and demands for separation be pre-empted? Violent conflic...
Article
Ensuring equality between religious groups and assuring individual rights to freedom and equality within groups are part of, and constitutive of, the larger project of democracy. These two projects point to the fact that the state is prohibited from discriminating between religious groups, and religious groups, or at least their leaders, are prohib...
Article
The Akali Dal and the Congress followed different agendas to recapture legitimacy in Punjab after the violence of the 1980s. The aftermath of militancy and the generalised discontent with the Akali Dal and the Congress provided both the parties with an opportunity to reinvent their agendas. But both continued with their usual politics, putting crit...
Article
Reasoned argument has taken a backseat in the current imbroglio over reservations for the other backward classes. The acrimonious debate has failed to distinguish between egalitarianism and humanitarianism; it has also confused protective discrimination with affirmative action and has erroneously held that reservations bring about a respect for div...
Chapter
The central questions that this chapter addresses are as follows: what is the conceptual status that human rights activism allots to social and economic rights, and what is the status that activism should allot to these rights, and why? These questions are significant because traditionally liberal democratic theory, which arguably inspires and sust...
Chapter
Human rights have always proved to be a bit of a problem for political theory; recall Jeremy Bentham's famous dismissal of rights as nonsense – nonsense on stilts. The crisis in the discourse of rights, despite the widespread political acceptability the issue commands, is today much deeper than at any point in history. Political theorists seem to b...
Article
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This article addresses the ‘crisis of representation’ thesis by examining some of the findings of a survey conducted in Delhi in 2003. On the basis of the data collected during the course of the survey, it revisits two rather significant questions that have been thrown up by the thesis. First, how valid is the assumption that people have lost confi...
Article
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Since the early 1990s, civil society organisations have been involved with governments in an effort to 'mobilise and organise the poor with a view to empowering them', converting them from 'passive recipients of doles to active participants in planned development'. But what does this partnering of the state by civil society in crucial areas of coll...
Article
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The state has been pluralised and now shares power with sub-national governments, proliferating forms of network and partnership organisations, a variety of quasi-public and private organisations, NGOs and international agencies and other forms of supranational governance. What remains of the significance or meaning of the liberal democratic notion...
Article
A discussion of current urbanisation trends in the Third World which aims to give an entry point into the study of fundamental social, economic and political processes in society. Marxist, neo-Marxist and non-Marxist theoretical debate on "the urban' is reviewed, and an alternative theorisation is offered. This is based on the process of class stru...
Article
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This paper argues that the main reason for political discontent and violence in Kashmir has to do with repeated infringements of the social contract by the central government of India, often acting in tandem with the state government. This has been accompanied by erosion of the democratic space that permits articulation of political discontent. The...
Article
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This paper contributes to the debate on the causes and consequences of politics that are practised in an 'ethnic' mode. It considers how ethnic identities are constituted and legitimised through the practices of modern states, which are themselves embedded in ethnic categories. It analyses the dynamics of ethnic politics in the context of the forma...

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Projects (3)
Project
TO MAP OUT THE RANGE AND IMPACT OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE FOUGHT OVER STATE POWER AND RESOURCES
Archived project
Archived project