The essays in the three-volume series, Explaining Indian Democracy: A Fifty-Year Perspective, 1956-2006, span over five decades of the Rudolphs' scholarship on politics in India. This work brings out the distinctiveness of Indian democratic experience through a contextual political analysis. The Realm of Ideas, the first of the three volumes, explores how modes of inquiry, kinds of knowledge, construction of categories, and historical context shape political analysis and explanation. The scholars argue for methodological pluralism and "situated knowledge". They also critique keyconcepts such as political culture, modernization, civil society, and orientalism and apply them to questions of social change.