Often dismissed as 'rumblings of the street', popular politics is where political modernity is being formed today, argues Partha Chatterjee. The rise of mass politics across the world has led to the development of new techniques of governing population groups. On the one hand, the idea of popular sovereignty has gained wide acceptance. On the other, the proliferation of security and welfare technologies has created modern governmental bodies that administer populations but do not provide citizens with an arena for democratic deliberation. Under these conditions, democracy is no longer government of, by, and for the people. Rather, it has become a world of power whose startling dimensions and unwritten rules of engagement Chatterjee provocatively lays bare. This book argues that the rise of ethnic or identity politics-particularly in the postcolonial world-is a consequence of these new techniques of governmental administration. Using contemporary examples, Chatterjee examines the different forms taken by the politics of the governed, many of which operate outside the traditionally defined arena of civil society and the formal legal institutions of state. Looking at the global conditions within which such local forms have appeared, he shows us how both community and global society have been transformed. This major book by one of the modern world's most eminent political theorists provides a new perspective on the limits and possibilities of democracy in contemporary times.