This series is being published as part of a University Grants Commission project to promote teaching and research in the social sciences in India. The project (2010–12) has been jointly executed by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and the Economic and Political Weekly. The series is meant to introduce university students and research scholars to important research that has been published in EPW in specific areas. The journal has, over the decades, published a large number of research papers in all the social sciences. The readers draw on this archive of EPW ’s published articles. The titles—in economics, politics, sociology and the environment—reflect EPW ’s strengths as well as the interests of the academic community. Each set of readings is compiled by a senior academic who has also written an introductory essay for the volume. TISS and EPW are grateful to the authors of the articles included here for permission to reprint them.