Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Tariq Thachil Book Adda — Migrants and Machine Politics

Friday, November 3, 2023

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EST

Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street 

Join us for a book discussion on Migrants and Machine Politics with author Tariq Thachil.

Lisa Bjorkman, University of Lousiville
Patrick Heller, Brown University 
Siddharth Swaminathan, Brown Unviersity 

Tariq Tachil is the Madan Lal Sobti Chair for the Study of Contemporary India and professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Elite Parties, Poor Voters.

About the book:
As the Global South rapidly urbanizes, millions of people have migrated from the countryside to urban slums, which now house one billion people worldwide. The transformative potential of urbanization hinges on whether and how poor migrants are integrated into city politics. In Migrants and Machine Politics: How India’s Urban Poor Seek Representation and Responsiveness, SIS Professor Adam Auerbach and Tariq Thachil (University of Pennsylvania) draw on years of fieldwork in urban north India to argue against conventional portrayals of migrant settlements as politically subdued, bought-off, or polarized by local dons and political ‘machines.’

Auerbach and Thachil show how migrants actively construct and populate the political networks that connect them to city governments. To do so, they generate and wield intense political competition to sow unexpected, important, and imperfect seeds of accountability within urban politics.

Praised by reviewers as “pioneering,” “pathbreaking,” “a tour de force,” and “a model of social-science research,” Migrants and Machine Politics sheds new light on the political consequences of urbanization across India and the Global South.

Migrants and Machine Politics was published in 2023 by Princeton University Press. For more information, click here.

Book Adda
Joint Seminar on South Asian Politics