Department of Sociology
New publication

Article on Mamata Banjeree

Kenneth Bo Nielsen recently published an article on the flamboyant Indian politician Mamata Banerjee in the book "India's Democracies".

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Indian democracy has often been characterized as "a puzzle" that "defies theories". But any theory on democratic practice will need to take into account the world's largest democracy. We assert that Indian democracy is maturing with its own practices. Most prominent is its diversity. As a set of institutions, Indian democracy is crafted on to the country's diverse and heterogeneous society, encompassing a great many differing practices.

Differences in political culture

The contributors to this volume investigate democratic practice in different corners of India and at different levels. The differences in political culture and participation between the Centre and the states and among the states themselves reveal the heterogeneous nature of the Indian State. Equally important is the role these differences play in policy making (including foreign policy), and the weight given to them by politicians seeking popular support. Even at the local level we find strikingly diverging perceptions of what democracy means to different groups, and this will help us understand the complexities of popular expectations. These features all form part of the challenges the Indian State faces with increased popular mobilization and democratic participation.

Mamata Banerjee - Redefining Female Leadership

Chapter 5 in the book is written by Kenneth Bo Nielsen and titled "Mamata Banerjee - Redefining Female Leadership". This chapter portrays and analyses Mamata Banerjee as a political leader, and simultaneously seeks to provide a broader insight into the phenomenon of female political leadership in India’s democracy. Through a detailed empirical portrait of Mamata Banerjee, this chapter examines how Indian women with political ambitions carve out a career for themselves

Also contributing to the volume is Alf Gunvald Nilsen from the department, with at chapter titled "Democratic Struggles in the Adivasi Heartland-Towards a Relational Conception of Subaltern Political Cultures and State- Society Relations in India".

The entire book is available as an open access publication here: Universitetsforlaget.no