| Reading the Nation

Course Information

  • 2022-23
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)
  • V
  • Jul 2022
  • Elective Course

The nation-state is the ‘most universally legitimate value’ in contemporary politics (Anderson, 1993). Its rise is linked closely to the development of modern constitutionalism, suggesting a deep affinity  between law and the nation. Moreover, notwithstanding prophecies of the latter’s demise, we are  currently witnessing the global resurgence of nationalism coupled with a perceived crisis of democratic  constitutionalism. In this context, this course attends to the affinities and oppositions of the nation as a  political and legal formation by reading a selection of nationalist thought in twentieth century India. It  supplements existing courses on political and legal theory in the undergraduate law programme, and  speaks to contemporary debates on democracy and constitutionalism in India and elsewhere.

This is an intensive elective course spread over two weeks. Theories of nationalism will be discussed  in the first week. This will provide context for critical engagement with nationalist thought in the  second week. The course takes a broad view of the sites available for ‘reading’ the nation and so,  includes textual, aural, and visual sources of nationalist thought.


Kanika Gauba

Visiting Faculty