Research Interests: Patronage Politics, Populism, Electoral Politics, State-Society Relations, Party Politics, Informal Politics And Comparative Politics
Sarthak Bagchi is an Assistant Professor at the School of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad University. He teaches courses on Democracy, Indian Political Processes and India's democratic transformation. His research is primarily focused on clientelism and patronage politics, comparative politics, Indian state politics, Populism, Informal Politics and Identity Politics. He also writes on politics for general audiences in The Wire, The Indian Express and The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy and appears as a political commentator for television news channel, NDTV india. Sarthak has also worked as a journalist with TV news channel, News X, before entering academics. Sarthak has previously worked with KITLV (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies), Leiden and Göttingen University, Germany as researcher and post-doctoral researcher respectively.
Sarthak Bagchi worked as a doctoral research scholar at the Institute for Area Studies, Leiden University, in the Netherlands. For his doctoral dissertation, Sarthak has conducted a comparative study of clientelistic politics in the assembly elections of Bihar and Maharashtra. Trained as a political scientist from the University of Hyderabad, where he did his M.A. and M. Phil. in the Department of Political Science, Sarthak has been a keen observer of electoral politics, party systems and state politics in India.
His research interests lie in the topics of patronage politics, populism, electoral politics, state-society relations, party politics, informal politics and comparative politics. He has also conducted research to understand politics in other countries such as Turkey, Indonesia and the Netherlands. In Indian State politics, Sarthak looks at the extent and prevalance of patronage natworks and clientelistic politics in different Indian states, using methods of comparative analysis. His work uses ethnographic methods to follow and study the mediation and manouvering of informal networks of political actors, especially in the ambit of election campaigns to understand the different ways in which politicians try to connect with their voters. Besides clientelistic networks and Informal politics, Sarthak is also interested in the topics of youth and politics, regional political economy and rural local governances through a mix of quantitative and qualitative study of panchayati raj Institutions in Indian states.
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