Aditya Nigam works in the broad field of social and political theory. His work attempts to theorize the experience of politics and democracy by moving away from the standard mainstream frameworks that base themselves on notions of popular will and sovereignty. It therefore, attempts to understand mass politics and notions of populism and the popular with reference to the mundane and the everyday.
A parallel part of Nigam’s work has been concerned with alternative histories of capital, from the vantage point of contemporary experiences in India and the non-West in general. Formations of the economic and the political, as twin aspects of the constitution of the modern in different contexts, together form the constellation that he examines in the context of contemporary India. He is currently looking at this complex through an examination of Marxist engagement with democracy and capital.
As part of this endeavour, Nigam has also been working collaboratively with some other colleagues at CSDS, in exploring thought in the conceptual universe of Indian languages.
Nigam’s earlier work has been concerned with the constitution of political subjectivities, especially against the larger backdrop of the formation and crisis of secular modernity and nationalism in India. He has also been associated with a group of South Asian scholars from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India, working around the idea of the ‘post-national condition’.
Aditya Nigam works with the Centre’s Indian Languages Programme and its Hindi journal Pratiman. He has been involved with its Teaching Programme, ‘Researching the Contemporary’. He comments regularly on contemporary political issues in the blog, kafila.org
He is the author of The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular Nationalism in India (2006), Power and Contestation: India Since 1989, with Nivedita Menon (2007), After Utopia: Modernity and Socialism and the Postcolony (2010), and Desire Named Development (2011).