Both India and China have experienced economic changes that have generated new challenges for local institutions. This volume closely studies the resultant grass-roots political experiences in these countries from an interdisciplinary perspective. It examines the process of democratization and highlights the growing demands for participation and the complex power structures interjecting them.

The contributors to this volume discuss issues relating to institutional structures and the dynamics of local governance in a changing socio-economic environment. In addition to the political economy of rural areas, they also focus on the role of gender, ethnicity, and religion in local political processes.

Key Features

Outlines how institutional innovation has evolved in both countries; Highlights the impact of the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution (in India) and the Organic Law (in China) in facilitating political participation; Investigates how far the new democratic processes have reduced ethnic subordination, caste hierarchy, and gender injustice at the village level

Comprising individual case studies as well as comparative perspectives, this pioneering volume raises new issues of institution-building and socio-economic change vis-à-vis the right to participate. It will be of particular interest to political scientists, sociologists, and social activists.

The Party, the Village Committee and the Monastery: Functions and Interactions of Three Institutions at the Grass Roots

The Party, the Village Committee and the Monastery: Functions and Interactions of Three Institutions at the Grass Roots

The party, the village committee and the monastery: Functions and interactions of three institutions at the grass roots


One of the biggest challenges that a developing society like China faces is how to maintain a balance between development and stability. This corresponds in a sense to the traditional Sinitic concepts of the interaction between ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ (which are complementary opposite forces). The history of the micro-response of local society to the macro-social dilemma of China may be traced back to the nineteenth century, when Chinese society was gradually falling into chaos under the frequent attacks and influences from outside. After a succession of complicated changes in the ...

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