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Understanding Contemporary India, 3rd edition

Neil DeVotta and Sumit Ganguly, editors
Understanding Contemporary India, 3rd edition
ISBN: 978-1-62637-940-4
ISBN: 978-1-955055-05-5
2021/335 pages/LC: 2021015775
Understanding: Introductions to the States and Regions of the Contemporary World
Praise for previous editions:

"A uniquely comprehensive and insightful primer on the political, economic, social, and environmental challenges facing contemporary India. Informed by rich research and keen analysis, it is a rewarding first stop for students embarking on the study of India's complex dynamics in the 21st century." —Benjamin Siegel, Boston University

"By far the best book available for teaching an introduction to India. Each chapter provides a solid overview by an eminent scholar in the field, and the text as a whole covers every topic that anyone who is teaching or learning about India should be thinking about." —Rina Williams, University of Cincinnati


Even stronger than its outstanding predecessor, the third edition of Understanding Contemporary India provides context for and evaluates more than a decade of challenges and changes in India.

Entirely new chapters on geography, politics, the economy, international relations, religion, and environmental challenges, along with updated material throughout (including the impact of the novel coronavirus), result in an indispensable volume that describes and analyzes the paradoxical nature of the world’s largest and most diverse democracy.


Neil DeVotta is professor of politics and international relations at Wake Forest University. Sumit Ganguly is distinguished professor of political science and holds the Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University.


  • Introducing India—N. DeVotta.
  • A Geographic Preface—D. Hill.
  • The Historical Context—B.B. Cohen.
  • The Political System—E. Sridharan.
  • Economies and Development—R. Mukherji and S.H. Zarhani.
  • International Relations—S. Ganguly.
  • The Politics of Caste—C. Jaffrelot.
  • Religion—C.M. Bauman and A.T. Embree.
  • The Status of Women—L. Trivedi.
  • Population, Urbanization, and Environmental Challenges—K.D. Alley.
  • Looking Ahead—N. DeVotta.