India has been in the throes of four major transformations since the 1980s. They are in the arenas of foreign policy, economic development strategies, the process of social mobilization and the growing challenges to Indian secularism. Exogenous shocks, in considerable measure, explain the dramatic and closely linked changes in the realms of foreign and security policies. The spurt in social mobilization, however, stemmed from mostly domestic sources and specifically the deepening of adult franchise. It represents one important facet of the maturation of India’s democracy. Finally, the very success of social mobilization, in part, accounts for the assault on Indian secularism. The first two, of course represent conscious policy choices. The second two, however, can be traced to a complex interplay of various social forces. The evolution of these four features of India’s democracy will, in large measure, shape the future of the country in this new century.
Sumit Ganguly is a professor of political science and holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University, Bloomington. He has previously taught at James Madison College of Michigan State University, Hunter College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Ganguly has been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, a Visiting Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, a Guest Scholar at the Center for Cooperative Monitoring in Albuquerque and a Visiting Scholar at the German Institute for International and Area Studies in Hamburg.
He was also the holder of the Ngee Ann Chair in International Politics at the Rajaratnam School for International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore in the spring term of 2010. Additionally, he is a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. Professor Ganguly serves on the editorial boards of Asian Affairs, Asian Security, Asian Survey, Current History, the Journal of Democracy, International Security and Security Studies. A specialist on the contemporary politics of South Asia is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 20 books on the region.
His most recent books are India Since 1980 (with Rahul Mukherji), published by Cambridge University Press and Asian Rivalries: Conflict, Escalation and Limitations on Two-Level Games (with William Thompson) published by Stanford University Press. He is currently at work on a new book, Deadly Impasse: India-Pakistan Relations at the Dawn of a New Century for Cambridge University Press.
His article on corruption in India was just published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Democracy, and he is currently writing a new book with Bill Thompson entitled The State of India (for Columbia University Press) which seeks to assess India's prospects and limitations of emerging as a great power.