Political Mobilisation, the Poor and Democratisation in Neo-liberal India

Globalisation has had far-reaching implications for the dynamics of liberal democracy and governance in India. With the opening of the Indian economy in the 1990s, global market forces and private sector organisations have played an increasingly significant role in the political life of the nation. Given this background, several central questions are addressed. How has globalisation affected the way that state and civil society relations in India are constituted? In particular, what are its political implications for the poor who had previously relied on the services provided by the post-colonial state that carried out significant welfare-orientated functions? The paper argues that the contradictions of globalisation have transformed the dependent identity of the poor and marginalised toward a greater propensity for collective mobilisation. While the longer-term outcomes of such mobilisation remains unclear, the hegemonic position of entrenched elites is more clearly being challenged by the emergence of new agendas of inclusion, welfare rights and social justice appearing under conditions of neo-liberal globalisation.


Source: Sahoo, S. “Political Mobilisation, the Poor and Democratisation in Neo-liberal India,” Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 40, No. 3, August 2010, pp. 487–508



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