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Georgetown University


Detailed Course Information


Fall 2017
May 19, 2019
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INAF 212 - Democracy in India
 For the past seven decades, India has defied the predictions of skeptics who predicted its democratic form of government would not withstand the pressures imposed by poverty, illiteracy, ethnic diversity, and its sprawling geography. This course will explore the conceptual underpinnings of democracy and India's supposed outlier status. It will also critically analyze the performance of India's democracy in executing the sovereign functions of government, from law and order to justice and basic public services. Special attention will be paid to the country's management of elections and what, if anything, the democratic world can learn from India's successes and failures.

Milan Vaishnav is a senior fellow in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His primary research focus is the political economy of India, and he examines issues such as corruption and governance, state capacity, distributive politics, and electoral behavior.

He is the author of When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics (Yale University Press and HarperCollins India, 2017) and co-editor (with Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Devesh Kapur) of Rethinking Public Institutions in India (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is co-editor (with Devesh Kapur) of a forthcoming volume on money and electoral politics in India. His work has also been published in scholarly journals such as Asian Survey, Governance, India Review, and India Policy Forum. He is a regular contributor to several Indian publications.

Previously, he worked at the Center for Global Development, where he served as a postdoctoral research fellow, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has taught at Columbia, Georgetown, and George Washington Universities. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.

3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours

Levels: Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Lecture

International Affairs Department

Course Attributes:
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