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Lion König & Bidisha Chaudhuri: Politics of the Other in India and China: Western Concepts in Non-Western Contexts"
The book “Politics of the Other in India and China: Western Concepts in Non-Western Contexts”, edited by Lion König (Associate Researcher of the SAI) and Bidisha Chaudhuri (Assistant Professor at the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore and an Alumna of the Department of Political Science of the SAI), has been published by Routledge, London in February 2016. More information on the volume, including an overview of the content can be found here. 
The book proposes to shift the discussion on what constitutes the ‘Other’ as opposed to the ‘Self’ from philosophy and cultural studies to the social sciences and explores how the structural asymmetries that exist between Western discourses and the realities of the non-Western world manifest themselves in the ideas, institutions and socio-political practices of India and China, and in how far they shape the social scientist’s understanding of their discipline in general. The analyses of concepts such as secularism, federalism, democracy, citizenship, socialism, governance and human rights in India and China provide a counter-narrative by revealing the relativity of geographies, and by showing that the conventional presentation of core elements of the Asian socio-political set-up as ‘aberrations’ from the Western models fails to acknowledge their inherent strategic character of adapting Western concepts to meet local requirements.

Drawing on multiple disciplines, and analysing various concepts, the book is one of the few that engage with both India and China in an area other than foreign policy. In so doing, it tries to bridge the perceptual gap in area studies, bringing them in closer dialogue with one another, and makes a contribution to the theory and practice of politics, as well as to International and Asian Studies. With its broad Asia perspective and its contribution to the theorisation of the flow of concepts, it will be of particular relevance to scholars interested in interdisciplinarity, cross-Asia studies, and intellectual history.

17 Mar 2016
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