Vision and Strategy in Indian Politics: Jawaharlal Nehru’s Policy Choices and the Designing of Political Institutions, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Vision and Strategy in Indian Politics

Jawaharlal Nehru’s Policy Choices and the Designing of Political Institutions, 1st Edition

By Jivanta Schoettli


230 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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The 1950s in India were a crucial transition phase where the legacy and institutions of British rule had to be transformed to fit the needs of a post-colonial state. This period is closely associated with India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru (1947 – 64). Selecting three key policies closely associated with him, the book traces the political origins of the Panchasheela Agreement with China in 1954, the Hindu Code Bills of 1955 and 1956 and the founding of the Planning Commission in 1950. Each provides a window into the compulsions of Indian domestic politics at the time as well as the parameters of parliamentary debate.

The book goes on to discuss how these policies correspond to the pillars of Nehru’s vision for a modern, independent India that encapsulated socialism, nonalignment and secularism and assesses their long-run impact in Indian politics. With a growing recognition of the resilience of India’s political arrangements, the analysis is particularly relevant to those interested in the politics of transition and modernisation, and contributes to studies on Political Institutions and South Asian Politics.


"This book is a timely volume at a time when founding figures in a space such as India have been deified to the point where even mild criticism leads to extreme governmental backlash; her work also restores to one of these figures his rightful place in history." - Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, University of Oslo; Journal of International and Global Studies Volume 4, Number 1, (November 2012).

Table of Contents

1. The art and craft of policy-making 2. The Analytic Framework 3. Nehru, his world view 4. Contextualising Nehru: his contemporaries and ‘the structure of opportunities’ 5. The Planning Commission 6. Case Study: The Panchasheela Agreement 7. The Hindu Code Bills 8. The shelf life of Nehru's Institutions: a comparative study of three policies

About the Author

Jivanta Schöttli is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany. Her research interests include Indian politics and foreign policy.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in South Asian Studies

South Asia, with its burgeoning, ethnically diverse population, soaring economies, and nuclear weapons, is an increasingly important region in the global context. The series, which builds on this complex, dynamic and volatile area, features innovative and original research on the region as a whole or on the countries. Its scope extends to scholarly works drawing on history, politics, development studies, sociology and economics of individual countries from the region as well those that take an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to the area as a whole or to a comparison of two or more countries from this region. In terms of theory and method, rather than basing itself on any one orthodoxy, the series draws broadly on the insights germane to area studies, as well as the tool kit of the social sciences in general, emphasizing comparison, the analysis of the structure and processes, and the application of qualitative and quantitative methods. The series welcomes submissions from established authors in the field as well as from young authors who have recently completed their doctoral dissertations.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies