Chapter

Introduction

Partha Chatterjee and Ira Katznelson

in Anxieties of Democracy

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780198077473
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081745 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198077473.003.0001
Introduction

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In his book Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville addresses not just the social geography and laws of the United States, but also how the ‘habits and mores’ of democracy in the wide sense had primarily served to maintain a democratic republic in the United States. For Tocqueville, democracy lies at the intersection of structural tendencies, social being, social consciousness, and social action. Drawing on the arguments made by Tocqueville in Democracy in America, this book compares democracy in India and the United States. It examines how the United States moved ‘from equality’ at birth towards new forms of inequality over time, and how India moved ‘towards equality’ from an inegalitarian social order at independence. The book explores how democratization has influenced key elements of public life such as citizenship, capitalism, religion, the struggle for equality, and the status of the Jews and other minorities in the two countries.

Keywords: Alexis de Tocqueville; United States; democracy; India; equality; citizenship; capitalism; Jews; Democracy in America; social order

Chapter.  6861 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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