Nissim MannathukkarenOct 12, 2022
Communism, Subaltern Studies and Postcolonial Theory
The Left in South India
Routledge Chapman & Hall 2021
Nissim Mannathukkaren's book Communism, Subaltern Studies and Postcolonial Theory: The Left in South India (Routledge Chapman & Hall, 2021) is a thematic history of the communist movement in Kerala, the first major region (in terms of population) in the world to democratically elect a communist government. It analyzes the nature of the transformation brought about by the communist movement in Kerala, and what its implications could be for other postcolonial societies. The volume engages with the key theoretical concepts in postcolonial theory and Subaltern Studies, and contributes to the debate between Marxism and postcolonial theory, especially its recent articulations.
The volume presents a fresh empirical engagement with theoretical critiques of Subaltern Studies and postcolonial theory, in the context of their decades-long scholarship in India. It discusses important thematic moments in Kerala’s communist history which include — the processes by which it established its hegemony, its cultural interventions, the institution of land reforms and workers’ rights, and the democratic decentralization project, and, ultimately, communism’s incomplete national-popular and its massive failures with regard to the caste question.
A significant contribution to scholarship on democracy and modernity in the Global South, this volume will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of politics, specifically political theory, democracy and political participation, political sociology, development studies, postcolonial theory, Subaltern Studies, Global South Studies, and South Asia Studies.
Irene Promodh is a PhD student in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.