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The NLS Public Lecture Series | The ‘Economy’ in Indian Politics: Some Inter-disciplinary Reflections


Online (Zoom)


Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 5:00 pm

The NLS Public Lecture Series invites you to a talk on ‘The ‘Economy’ in Indian Politics: Some Inter-disciplinary Reflections‘ by Prathama Banerjee. The talk will take place on Wednesday, October 10, 2021 from 5.00 PM to 6.00 PM.

About The Speaker

Prathama Banerjee is a historian at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi. She works at the cusp of political philosophy, philosophies of time, conceptual histories and aesthetic theory. Her most recent book is Elementary Aspects of the Political: Histories from the Global South, Duke University Press, 2020.


The concept of the ‘economy’ has a paradoxical constitution. On the one hand, it is known as an abstract and specialised concept, produced out of expert discourses and governmental speak. On the other hand, being about bare life and basic needs, it is seen as the most real, immediate and intimate aspect of people’s lives, even if people might not realise it as self-conscious economic subjects.

In this presentation, the speaker explores the different ways in which the concept of the economy has been mobilised in popular politics in colonial and postcolonial India; and try to think through the conceptual mismatches between the economy of politics and the economy of economics.

She argues that today, it is not enough to offer a political critique of economic thought and policy. We need to fundamentally rethink, despite disciplinary obstacles, the relationship between the political and the economic in its historically mutating forms.

The full paper is available here.