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Senior Research Seminar: Dr Andrew Sanchez

When Mar 02, 2018
from 04:15 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Edmund Leach Room Department of Social Anthropology Free School Lane, Cambridge
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Dr Andrew Sanchez, (University of Cambridge)

Nostalgia and Progress: The Creative Awareness of Crime in the Indian General Election

During the 2014 Indian general election, state and judicial corruption was a prominent campaign issue for all major political parties. Drawing upon ethnography of police racketeering, this paper interrogates voters’ seemingly contradictory perspectives on the operation of the Indian state.

For entrepreneurs extorted by police officers in the city of Jamshedpur, a systemic corruption discourse suggests endemic criminality in state institutions. However, this perspective contradicts hopeful faith in the city’s incumbent Member of Parliament: a former police officer who campaigns on an anti-corruption platform, and is yet the subject of numerous criminal investigations. This paper interrogates how electorates may be creatively aware of the criminal enterprises of political authorities, and situates them within affects of nostalgia and progress that are integral to populist political projects.

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