Aditya Nigam


Aditya Nigam’s recent work has been concerned with the decolonization of social and political theory. He has earlier worked on ideological and discursive formations and their relationship to the emergence and constitution of political subjectivities. The engagement with discursive formations has led to the need for greater attentiveness to the actual thought-worlds and imaginations of social agents and the need to step outside theoretical frames provided by standard theory, derived primarily from Western experience.

In particular, he is interested in theorizing the contemporary experience of politics, populism and democracy in the non-West – treating the non-West as the ground for ‘doing theory’, rather than a field for application or testing of standard frameworks derived from the Western experience.

A parallel and related part of Nigam’s work has been concerned with interrogating the received ‘philosophical history’ of capital, once again from the vantage point of the experiences of India and the non-West in general. Together, these interests tie up with the whole question of what modernity means–or can mean–in societies like India’s and with conceptual resources may with which we best grasp that experience.

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.

Aditya Nigam 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’.

He also works with the CSDS’s Indian Languages Programme and its Hindi journal Pratiman. He comments regularly on contemporary political issues on the blog,

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).

Email: aditya(at)

Publications (Click to Read)

Afro-Asian solidarity and the “capital” question: looking beyond the last frontier

The Work of Theory: Thinking across Traditions

Postcolonialism, Marxism and Non-Western Thought