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Understanding Contemporary India, 2nd edition

Neil DeVotta, editor
Understanding Contemporary India, 2nd edition
ISBN: 978-1-58826-715-3
ISBN: 978-1-62637-447-8
2010/341 pages/LC: 2010018936
Understanding: Introductions to the States and Regions of the Contemporary World
Praise for the previous edition:
"A keenly insightful, nicely organized, and superbly presented work which is strongly recommended and accessible reading for [anyone] wanting a useful and reader friendly overview of present day India."—Midwest Book Review

"Will help readers develop an appreciation for this exceedingly fascinating and complex country."—Social Studies Educator


Explaining the paradoxical nature of the world’s largest and most diverse democracy, this new edition of Understanding Contemporary India has been thoroughly revised to reflect nearly a decade of change.

The book includes entirely new chapters on history, international relations, caste, and the role of women, as well as extensively updated material on politics, the economy, environmental issues, religion, and the arts. The result is an indispensable introduction, both descriptive and analytical, to the complexities of contemporary India.


Neil DeVotta is associate professor of political science at Wake Forest University. He is the author of Blowback: Linguistic Nationalism, Institutional Decay, and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka.


  • Introduction—N. DeVotta.
  • India: A Geographic Preface—A.K. Dutt.
  • The Historical Context—B. Cohen.
  • Indian Politics—S.D. Sharma.
  • International Relations—N. DeVotta.
  • India's Economy—J. Adams and J.A. Kirk.
  • Population, Urbanization, and the Environment—H. Sims.
  • Women in India—L. Trivedi.
  • Religion—A.T. Embree.
  • The Politics of Caste—C. Jaffrelot.
  • The Arts—A. Lal.
  • Trends and Prospects—N. DeVotta.