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India as a Civilizational State


This article is focused on the “civilizational state” phenomenon, using India as a case study. The basic characteristics of the “civilizational state” are outlined, and the reasons behind the interest in societies such as India, China, Iran, etc., are given. Nowadays, the political self-assertion of “civilizational states” is a natural reaction to the “conceptual” crisis of globalism and to emerging trends towards the formation of a new, polycentric world order. The arising of India as a viable “civilizational state” is scrutinized. In this pivotal process, the role of the precolonial, colonial, and independence periods in the formation of modern Indian polity is assessed. The grounds for sustainability of the socio-economic and cultural dualism of Indian society are estimated. In conclusion, the operating of the “Indian political model” combining elements of representative governance and “competitive authoritarianism” is evaluated. The “axial” role of the state, both in domestic development and in the transition to a polycentric world order, is noted.

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This work was supported by a Grant of the Russian Science Foundation “India and China in the Last Half Century: Comparison of the Paths of Socio-Historical Evolution,” project no. 22-28-01829. This grant was implemented at the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences.

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Correspondence to A. G. Volodin.

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Translated by S. Avodkova

Andrei Gennad’evich Volodin, Dr. Sci. (Hist.), is Chief Researcher at the Primakov National Research Institute of the World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences.

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Volodin, A.G. India as a Civilizational State. Her. Russ. Acad. Sci. 92 (Suppl 9), S827–S837 (2022).

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