Natasha Behl, "Gendered Citizenship: Understanding Gendered Violence in Democratic India" (Oxford UP, 2019)


Why do we find pervasive gender-based discrimination, exclusion and violence in India when the Indian constitution builds an inclusive democracy committed to gender equality? This is the puzzle that animates Natasha Behl’s book, Gendered Citizenship: Understanding Gendered Violence in Democratic India (Oxford University Press, 2019), but it is, as we explore in episode eight of New Books in Interpretive Political and Social Science, in no way merely an intellectual one. To the contrary, Gendered Citizenship is a book that is guided by Behl’s own bodily experiences of gendered politics in India and also in the academy. Through her study of India, Behl offers a persuasive critique of the existing literature on citizenship in political science, particularly in democratisation studies, as well as of her experiences as a graduate student in a hostile discipline. Along the way she develops an account of situated citizenship that not only serves as the methodological basis for her fieldwork, but, as we discuss, is itself a kind of empirical political theory.

Congratulations to Natasha Behl for being awarded the soon-to-be-officially-announced 2021 Lee Ann Fujii Award for Innovation in the Interpretive Study of Political Violence of the American Political Science Association! Listeners interested to know more about Lee Ann Fujii’s life and work can listen to the recent interview in this special series with two of her former students, Jessica Soedirgo and Aarie Glas.

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Nick Cheesman is a Fellow in the Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University, and a committee member of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods group.

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Nick Cheesman

Host, Interpretive Political and Social Science; sometimes contributor, Southeast Asian Studies
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