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Ornit Shani | How India Became Democratic: Citizenship and the Making of the Universal Franchise

Lecture | November 1 | 4-6 p.m. | 3335 Dwinelle Hall


Ornit Shani, Faculty Member, Asian Studies Department, University of Haifa

Abhishek Kaicker, Assistant Professor, Department of History, UC Berkeley

Lawrence Cohen, Professor of Anthropology and of South & Southeast Asian Studies, UC Berkeley

Berkeley Legal History Workshop (Department of History), Institute for South Asia Studies, Center for the Study of Law and Society (Berkeley Law)


Ornit Shani is a scholar of the politics and modern history of India.

Ornit received her PhD from the University of Cambridge. She was a Research Fellow at St. John’s College, Cambridge University. Her current research focuses on the modern history of democracy and citizenship in India.

Her forthcoming book is How India Became Democratic: Citizenship and the Making of the Universal Franchise, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming). This book uncovers the greatest experiment in democratic history: the creation of the electoral roll and universal adult franchise in India.

Ornit holds an Israeli Science Foundation (ISF) grant for her sequel project: ‘Embedding Democracy: the Social History of India’s First Elections’. Her other areas of research are the rise of Hindu Nationalism, identity and caste politics, communal and caste violence. She is the author of Communalism, Caste, and Hindu Nationalism: The Violence in Gujarat (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

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isas@berkeley.edu, 510-642-3608