Lineages of Political Society

Studies in Postcolonial Democracy

Partha Chatterjee

Columbia University Press

Lineages of Political Society

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Pub Date: November 2011

ISBN: 9780231158138

296 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00

Pub Date: November 2011

ISBN: 9780231158121

296 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $95.00

Pub Date: November 2011

ISBN: 9780231527910

296 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $31.99

Lineages of Political Society

Studies in Postcolonial Democracy

Partha Chatterjee

Columbia University Press

Partha Chatterjee, a pioneering theorist known for his disciplinary range, builds on his theory of "political society" and reinforces its salience to contemporary political debate. Dexterously incorporating the concerns of South Asian studies, postcolonialism, the social sciences, and the humanities, Chatterjee broadly critiques the past three hundred years of western political theory to ask, Can democracy be brought into being, or even fought for, in the image of Western democracy as it exists today?

Using the example of postcolonial societies and their political evolution, particularly communities within India, Chatterjee undermines the certainty of liberal democratic theory in favor of a realist view of its achievements and limitations. Rather than push an alternative theory, Chatterjee works solely within the realm of critique, proving political difference is not always evidence of philosophical and cultural backwardness outside of the West. Resisting all prejudices and preformed judgments, he deploys his trademark, genre-bending, provocative analysis to upend the assumptions of postcolonial studies, comparative history, and the common claims of contemporary politics.
Partha Chatterjee is one of the most important writers and theorists of our time, a voice as fresh and original as it is powerful and necessary. Nicholas Dirks, Columbia University, author of The Scandal of Empire: India and the Creation of Imperial Britain
A fascinating look at international politics and the reality of democracy through the world. The Midwest Book Review

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About the Author

Partha Chatterjee is honorary professor of political science at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, and professor of anthropology at Columbia University. His books include Empire and Nation: Selected Essays; The Politics of the Governed: Reflections on Popular Politics in Most of the World; A Possible India: Essays in Political Criticism; and The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories.