The significance of the analyses goes beyond how much these questions find place in the campaign, or how much they would impact the electoral results. These have and would continue to be essential themes in Indian politics for some time. They would influence the country’s politics, its leaders, parties and institutions and would be interrogated in political, policy and social science circles in the foreseeable future. They would in turn be impacted, redefined and perhaps transformed by political dynamics and social pressure.
The first attempt of its kind to analyse the impact of certain emerging trends in politics on upcoming elections anywhere in the world, this book will be a useful addition to election studies and policy making in general.
The author raises several key questions relevant to Indian politics, including:
•?Why has India succeeded in making a relatively peaceful transition from colonial rule to a resilient, multi-party democracy in contrast to her neighbours?
•?How has the interaction of modern politics and traditional society contributed to the resilience of post-colonial democracy?
•?How did India’s economy – moribund for several decades following independence – make a breakthrough into rapid growth, and, can India sustain it?
•?And finally, why have collective identity and nationhood emerge as the core issue of India in the 21st century?
Introducing the novice to India, this accessible, genuinely comparative account of India’s political evolution also engages the expert in a deep contemplation of the nature of strategic manoeuvring within India’s domestic and international context. In addition to pedagogical features such as text boxes, a set of further readings is provided as a to guide readers who wish to go beyond the remit of this text.
This book addresses each of these aspects of party system transformation in India by applying the analytical techniques of rational and social choice theory. Challenging conventional wisdom, the book argues that the number of parties in India has increased as a result of the unexpected consequences of the constitutional amendment of 1985 that was conceived to curtail party defections. Although the Congress Party no longer dominates the new multi-party system, it still retains a pivotal role in deciding which coalitions may form viable and stable minority government. The Indian case study is theoretically driven and it is readily comparable with other parliamentary federations where minority governments are often formed, such as Canada, and the book finds that these processes are also present in the sub-national party systems of the states, however, with greater variation.