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Nation Form: Essays on Indian Nationalism

by Ranabir Samaddar SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
Pub Date:
Hbk 292 pages
AU$105.00 NZ$108.70
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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Most writings on the theme of the nation confine themselves to discussions of ideology and thought, leaving out the question of the form of the nation. This selection of writings by Ranabir Samaddar fills in that void, presenting within two covers a whole range of dimensions, perspectives, and controversies of the last two decades on the question of the nation in India. It looks at the form of the Indian nation in terms of contests, contradictions, classes, and nationalist strategies of inclusion and exclusion. Thereby, Samaddar addresses two issues in view of the nation form-its relation with democracy and the problem of governing the nation. This selection not only comprises essays that stand on their own merit, but in their totality, it presents a historical summary of the nation's experience through decades-before and after Independence. There is no transcendental ideal of the nation, and to the extent that such an ideal is present, it only serves to hide the reality of the nation form. This book, thus, is not about nationalism, but about the nation from a theoretical perspective.

Introduction: The Conflicts and Contradictions in the Nation Form
The Manifold Meaning of Territoriality in Nationalism
What Was Asia to the Asians?
The Birth of a Nation
Promises of Revolution
The Dynamics of Passive Revolution
The World of the Edges
Legality, Illegality, and Reasons of State
Cartographic Representations and Anxieties
The Ineluctable Logic of Geopolitics
The Autonomous Spaces within the Nation

Dr. Ranabir Samaddar is the Director of the Calcutta Research Group, and belongs to the school of critical thinking. He has pioneered along with others peace studies programmes in South Asia. He has worked extensively on issues of justice and rights in the context of conflicts in South Asia. The much-acclaimed The Politics of Dialogue (Ashgate, 2004) was the culmination of his work on justice, rights, and peace. His particular researches have been on migration and refugee studies, the theory and practices of dialogue, nationalism and post-colonial statehood in South Asia, and new regimes of technological restructuring and labour control. He authored a three-volume study of Indian nationalism, (Whose Asia Is It Anyway a nation and The Region in South Asia, 1996, The Marginal Nation a Transborder Migration from Bangladesh to West Bengal, 1999, and A Biography of the Indian Nation, 1947-1997, 2001). His recent political writings published in the form of a 2 volume account, The Materiality of Politics (Anthem Press, 2007), and the just published The Emergence of the Political Subject (Sage, 2009) have challenged some of the prevailing accounts of the birth of nationalism and the nation state, and have signalled a new turn in critical post-colonial thinking.