Understanding Politics: Practice, Judgment and Science

An Ashoka University online course for high-school students.


Malvika Maheshwari

Course Dates

1st June – 6th June


INR 12,000 + GST


4:00 – 6:00pm

About The Course

What does it mean to be political? What is the difference between thinking politically and doing politics? What is the role of ethics in politics? What are some ways in which scholars study political behaviour? This course will help young students to understand political practices and concepts, institutions and ideas, and thereby introduce them to the discipline of political science. Through thematic sessions, the course will equip students with analytical skills to examine political topics – including important and urgent issues we face in Indian politics.

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    Course Faculty

    Mahavir Jhawar

    Malvika Maheshwari

    Ph.D. Sciences Po
    Malvika Maheshwari teaches political science at Ashoka University, India. She holds degrees in the discipline from Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and earned her doctorate at Sciences Po’s Centre for International Research and Studies (CERI) in 2011.
    Prior to joining Ashoka, Malvika taught at Sciences Po, and was a research associate at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. Her research lies at the intersection of political thought and art practice, especially as it relates to phenomena like violence, power, democracy and state capacity.

    Her works have been published in journals like Studies in Indian Politics, Economic and Political Weekly, Raisons Politiques, South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, The Arts Politic among others. Her first book, Art Attacks: Violence and Offence-taking India was published in 2019 by Oxford University Press.

    Horizons Course Objectives

    Discover Your Interest and Aptitude

    Go Deep Into Specific Disciplines

    Learn with Amazing Peers from Schools across India

    Explore Unique Perspectives and Ideas

    Develop New Skills and Abilities

    Learning Support for the Course

    Amola Mehta

    Teaching Assistant

    Amola Mehta – Teaching Assistant
    Amola is a fourth year student at Ashoka University with a major in Political Science. Her areas of interest are gender studies, sustainable development, as well as political participation. She has been a teaching assistant with the Political Science department, specifically working as the TA for a course on feminism. In working with a waste management NGO, she has conducted research about micro-plastic textile waste in India. In her free time, she has debated competitively, conducted university elections, started a political party, and adopted a cat.

    Madhavi Menon

    Professor of English, Ashoka University

    Director, Centre for Studies in Gender & Sexuality

    Director of the PhD Programme in English

    Ph.D. Tufts University

    Madhavi Menon is an eminent theorist and scholar of gender, sexuality, politics, and identity. 

    She joined Ashoka University in 2013 as one of its founding faculty members. She went on to establish the university’s Centre for Gender & Sexuality Studies (CSGS), which is the first of its kind in India. Previously, she was a professor at Ithaca College and American University

    Most prominently known for her work on queer theory and Shakespeare, she has also edited the collection Shakesqueer and written three books on Shakespeare and sexuality. She is also most recently the author of Infinite Varieties: A History of Desire in India and Law of Desire: Rulings on Sex & Sexuality in India. 

    In addition to being Director of CSGS, she is the Director of the Ph.D. programme in English and Professor of English at Ashoka University.