Archive for June, 2013

Politics of Civil Society and Democratization in India

by Sarbeswar SAHOO (IIT Delhi and Max-Weber-Kolleg, Erfurt)

Venue: Universität Leipzig, Institut für Indologie und Zentralasienwissenschaften
04109 Leipzig, Schillerstraße 6

Mittwoch 3.7.2013, 16-17 Uhr
Raum M-204

This lecture will examine how Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), as part of civil society, contribute towards democratization in India and what conditions facilitate or inhibit their contribution. On the basis of in-depth empirical analysis and comparative case studies of three developmental NGOs that work among the tribal communities in the socio-historical context of south Rajasthan, this lecture will assess three different kinds of politics within civil society – liberal pluralist, neo-Marxist, and communitarian – which have had different implications in relation to democratization.

civil society

Based on these three cases, the lecture will show that civil society is not necessarily a democratizing force; it can have contradictory consequences in relation to democratization. The democratic effect of civil society is not a result of the “stock of social capital” in the community but is contingent upon the kinds of ideologies and interests that are present or ascendant not just within the institutions of civil society but also within the state. The lecture, thus, presents a nuanced understanding of civil society’s capacity to influence democratization in the developing world.