Tata Institute of Social Sciences
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TISS Patna Centre's Lecture Series on Justice, Lecture - 5


April 30, 2019

Venue: Jagjivan Ram Institute of Parliamentary Studies and Political Research 10, Mangles Road, Patna

TISS Patna Centre's Lecture Series on Justice, Lecture - 5


Title: Competing Idioms of Social Justice in India: The Recognition-Redistribution Conundrum

Speaker: Amit Prakash 



Issues of social justice in Liberal theory have traditionally been correlated to matters related to redistribution; and finding the most efficacious mechanism for equalisation of opportunity and outcome of such redistribution for the marginalised. However, political articulation by many of the marginalised groups has taken a different route to realisation of social justice through the politics of recognition. This bodes for a complex and dynamic relationship between the two streams of thought on social justice – in terms of both the mechanics as well as content of these two contested notions of social justice. It is this dynamic and contested notion of social justice, and modes for its realisation, that will be the main concern of this lecture to argue that the peculiar empirical realities of India’s democratic experience over the past half-century have challenged many of the conventional wisdoms in social sciences about the relationship between identity, development and the liberal state. In the Indian case, the two quests – that of identity recognition and that of socio-economic change – have been inextricably intertwined in the political process. This complex dynamics of the politics of identity and development that seems to anchor much of India’s democratic experience also has significant implications for public authority and legitimacy of the political.


About the Speaker

Dr. Amit Prakash is Professor at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His areas of interest are: politics of development and identity; critical governance studies (including governance indicators); conflict, governance and the state; democratic political process in India; policing in India; and, global governance. 

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