Contemporary forms and stakes of (sub)political mobilizations in urban India

Indian megacities are a major site of political innovation today, subsequently to the implementation of the decentralization policy, but also because they are used as show-windows by state governments who are eager to demonstrate their practice of the “good governance” prescribed by the World Bank. In this context, the new forms of local, political and sub-political mobilizations (which have been multiplying in several Indian megacities in the last decade) seem to answer the call for a greater participation of citizens into the management of local affairs. This project proposes an anthropological study of these emerging mobilizations in the capital-city of India, Delhi, with two objectives in mind: one, to contribute to the understanding of the nature of civil society in India, and of the local bases of a democracy that is often called “procedural”; and two, to test, through an empirical study, the notion of participatory democracy.