ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Vidhu VermaSubscribe to Vidhu Verma

Conceptualising Social Exclusion: New Rhetoric or Transformative Politics?

The debate on equality and non-discrimination is certainly not a new one, but the way it is incorporated in that on social exclusion leads to several shifts within the discourse on social justice. The term social exclusion is multidimensional although its western use in a selective way about markets promoting equality separates it from the Indian emphasis on social justice as linked to ending discrimination of dalit groups. The concept of social exclusion is inherently problematic as it faces three major challenges in India: the first relates to the historical discrimination of certain groups and their exclusion; the second is about the political economy of the excluded; and the third questions the way in which equality responses are restricted within the framework of social exclusion.

Reinterpreting Buddhism: Ambedkar on the Politics of Social Action

B R Ambedkar's reinterpretation of Buddhism gives us an account of action that is based on democratic politics of contest and resistance. It relies on a reading of the self as a multiple creature that exceeds the constructions of liberal autonomy. Insofar as Buddhist groups do not jeopardise or restrict their members' capacities and opportunities to make any decision about their own lives, they do not risk violating democratic principles. But to remain socially relevant they must continue to contribute to a practical impact on the social world which is so neatly intertwined with the political in present-day India.

The State, Democracy and Global Justice

One of the striking features of classical political philosophy until recently was that it assumed that principles of rights, sovereignty and distributive justice should operate at the state level. Global changes have not only questioned this dichotomy between domestic and international affairs but also raised concerns about the moral basis of politics at the international level. This paper argues that much of the confusion surrounding the analysis and justification of the need for global justice arises from the disparity between the wide usages of the term justice as it occurs in ordinary discourse related to humanitarianism and the way it has to do with the basis for making distribution of goods among citizens. It broadly proposes the need for reassessing concepts like state, democracy and sovereignty; to question membership-based sovereignty as the decisive determinant of democratic participation while working towards devolving decision-making to regional and local levels.

Morality in Politics

The Moral Foundations of Politics by Ian Shapiro; Aakar Books, 2004;
VIDHU VERMA This book is an essay in political philosophy which addresses conceptual issues in the politics of western societies with their wide variety of complex and highly articulated structures. It examines some major traditions in political philosophy in order to address the role of morality inpolitics. The book

Engendering Development

Recent feminist critiques of development have questioned some fundamental assumptions of feminist political theory; such critiques have also been successful in subverting long-held assumptions of conventional economic development. Viewed in the context of women's subordination in third world countries, a redefinition of development must not only be about economic growth, but ensure a redistribution of resources, challenge the gender-based division of labour and also seek to provide for an egalitarian basis in social arrangements. Further, as this article argues, any starting point for feminist critiques of development must also seek to link the end of gender oppression to multiple theories of justice - a justice not juridical but one that recognises the cultural membership of women in the community

Importance of Civil Society

the term. Thus it is important to overcome Importance of Civil Society the fuzziness of the term and to overcome Civil Society and Democracy: A Reader edited by Carolyn M Elliott; OUP, US, 2003;

Malaysian Elections 1999

On the face of it, nothing much has changed in Malaysia after the elections of 1999. But there has been expansion in the participatory basis of democracy and evolution of a more competitive party system during these elections. The article gives a background of the parties and examines in detail the current political scenario.

State, Society and Violence

State, Society and Violence Problem of Violence: Themes in Literature by Birinder Pal Singh; Manohar Publishers, Delhi; Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, 1999; pp 189,

Exploitation and Justice-Should We Be Interested in a Theory of Exploitation

Should We Be Interested in a Theory of Exploitation?
Vidhu Verma Surplus transfer from one class to another is fundamental to Marx's theory of exploitation which involves denial of rights over one's product and external resources. But the types of injustices raised by new social movements are exactly the ones where this surplus transfer to capitalists is missing. This demands a rectification of the exploitation-centred critique of capitalism and an observance of a difference between exploitation and oppression. Any conception of alternative good society then requires not only elimination of exploitative conditions of wage labour but also of structures of domination beyond the sphere of production.

Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997)

Vidhu Verma Isaiah Berlin's anti-utopianism, his critique of determinism, his challenging insistence that liberty is not to be contested with other social goals prepared the ground for what we must face in an era of malleable political ideologies.

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