My research and scholarly writing over the last ten years have focused on the constitutive role of media in linking political-economic processes such as market deregulation and the rise of new image and knowledge-based economies, with transformations of public and political culture. In particular, my research seeks to understand how political authority changes when multicultural societies with recently nationalized state apparatuses simultaneously experience the growth of communications, rising consumption, market deregulation, and a diminishing monopoly over the legitimate means of coercion. I ask how print and electronic media together enable the rise of more democratic public cultures and social relations, even as they are also crucial to the rise of new disciplinary technologies. In the process, I highlight the drawbacks of Eurocentric accounts of media and technology that relegate non-western developments to the status of marginalia and aberration.
My books include Politics After Television: Hindu Nationalism and the Reshaping of the Public in India (Cambridge, 2001), which won the Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Prize from the Association of Asian Studies and the Daniel Griffiths Prize at NYU, both in 2003, and The Indian Public Sphere: Structure and Transformation (Oxford, 2009).
I am the recipient of awards from the MacArthur and Rockefeller Foundations, and I have been a Member in the School of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. In addition to my scholarly writing, I publish in forums such the SSRC’s Immanent Frame and opendemocracy.net, and in newspapers and periodicals.