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Secular States, Religious Politics

Secular States, Religious Politics
India, Turkey, and the Future of Secularism


  • Author: Sumantra Bose, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Date Published: May 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108472036

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About the Authors
  • A pioneering comparative study of the two major attempts to build secular states - where the state's constitutional identity and fundamental character are not based on or derived from any religious faith - in the non-Western world. This book explains the origins, evolution and latterly the decline of secularism as a core principle of the state in India and Turkey. The anti-secular political transformations of the twenty-first century are the rise of a Sunni-Islamist definition of Turkish national identity to hegemonic power, and Hindu nationalism as India's pre-eminent political force. Both secular-state models adopted a similar operational doctrine of state intervention in and regulation of the religious sphere, rather than a Western-style separation of church and state. But, Turkish state-secularism took a culturally deracinated and harshly authoritarian form that led to its failure, whereas India's secular state - though flawed in practice - followed a culturally rooted and democratic path that makes secularism indispensable to India's future.

    • The first-ever comparative study of the Indian and Turkish secular states
    • Essential for understanding the rise of Hindu nationalism in India, and the consolidation of the Erdogan regime in Turkey
    • Lucidly written, accessible across disciplines and categories of readers
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108472036
    • length: 388 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 29 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The discontents of secularism
    2. Paths to the secular state
    3. Paradoxes of the secular state
    4. India: the anti-secularist ascendancy
    5. Turkey: the anti-secularist triumph
    6. Secular and anti-secular authoritarianisms: i. The case of Kemalism ii. The case of Hindu-nationalism
    7. The futures of secularism

  • Author

    Sumantra Bose, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Sumantra Bose is Professor of International and Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His many books include Transforming India: Challenges to the World's Largest Democracy (2013), Contested Lands: Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, Cyprus, and Sri Lanka (2007), Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace (2003), and Bosnia after Dayton: Nationalist Partition and International Intervention (2002). Born and raised in Kolkata, India, Bose graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts in 1992 and received his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University in New York in 1998.

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