Interpretative Approaches to Political Economy

Interpretative Approaches to Political Economy: Political Science, India, and the Rudolph Legacy


Susanne and Lloyd Rudolph

AT A TIME when big data and sophisticated statistical models of causal inference dominate the social sciences, this project assess the contributions and limits of interpretation and “situated knowledge” in political analysis.  Initially developed by Lloyd and Susanne Rudolph, the situated knowledge approach is based on the premise that local knowledge — understandings embedded in time, place, and circumstance – have an important role to play in social science analysis. Furthermore, critiquing top-down, deductive theories that impose meaning on local actors, the situated knowledge approach to theory-building is a bottom-up process that begins with local knowledge before incorporating more abstract theoretical concepts.  The papers for this workshop — which will ultimately be published in an edited volume — assess scholarship on examine broad political issues such as how emotion and perception shape political actions and the role of discourse in shaping political agency.  They also include theoretically informed analysis of Indian politics including examinations of the role of caste, class, and language in political mobilization, interpretative approaches to the political economy of the Indian state, India’s civilian-military relations and its political stability, and the relationship between democracy and higher education.

The conference was funded by:

  • Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation
  • Institute of the Humanities and Global Culture
  • Colloquy on Culture and Democracy at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture
  • Office of the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences
  • Taraknath Das Foundation

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