State and Governance: Concepts and Practices

This course will provide a critical understanding of how political authority is constituted and exercised by the modern state in relation with the broad goals of governance.

The state has historically represented the dominant order through which social, economic and political relationships in society have come to be determined. Hence, a systemic study of development requires a deep understanding of the ontology of the state. This course aims to provide students of the M.A. Development programme a framework to comprehend and critically engage with the state by providing a deeper understanding of the foundations and characteristics of government and its modes of operation. Such an enquiry needs to examine how the state is constituted both as an idea and a set of practices. A close engagement with both the ideological as well as the material basis of the state is necessary for changing the contours of the discourse of state and government, which have been faulted for not adequately theorizing the present.

A course offering a deep engagement with theories and practices of state and government is necessary to create an intellectual platform from which investigations into new forms and practices of governances can be embarked upon. Such a platform can be the intellectual guide to explorations around the tools and methods for the implementation of developmental policy in India. The course builds upon some ideas discussed in the Law and Governance core course and will also theoretically contextualize some of the more specialized elective courses on Governance offered in the Law and Governance specialization.