A big ‘U-turn’? The assumed shock of a BJP success to Sino-Indian relations

  The prime ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Narendra Modi, warned China, India’s largest trading partner and neighbour, to abandon its mind-set of expansion, when he visited the disputed territory of Arunachal Pradesh in February 2014. Not surprisingly, Modi’s provocative rhetoric fits the tone of the BJP’s political ideology. As India’s parliamentary […]

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Too little, too late – the BJP’s manifesto.

  The adage ‘Too Little Too Late’ best describes the election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the right-wing Hindu nationalist party of India, which is hoping to wrest power from the ruling Congress in the ongoing elections. Election manifestos are a must in a democratic election process as they represent the political parties’ […]

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Historicising anti-corruption in India’s 2014 election, Part Two

  In Part One [h1] of this blog post, I explored how political discourses of corruption in mid Century India continued to have a resonance in the electoral politics of contemporary India, particular for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).  These longer term views of corruption and the politics of anti-corruption, I argued, were based in a […]

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Historicising anti-corruption in India’s 2014 election, Part One

  More than any other general election before it, India’s 2014 contest appears to have been characterised by wide ranging appeals to a politics of anti-corruption.  The rising popular appeal of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has partly reflected, and partly created this trend, but arguably there are other processes at work here.  Some observers, […]

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‘Why Institutions Matter: The New Institutionalism in Political Science’ by Vivien Lowndes and Mark Roberts

    This week’s Bookshelf item is Why Institutions Matter: The New Institutionalism in Political Science’ by Vivien Lowndes and Mark Roberts. This important new text provides a broad-ranging introduction to the ‘new’ institutional theories which have become increasingly influential in recent years and gives an assessment of their application and utility in political analysis.   […]

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The Puzzling Case of Cash for Votes

  Rob Jenkins’ excellent post in this blog series (Is “Programmatic Politics” Possible in the Absence of Party Programmes?) argues that the unavailability of party manifestoes makes it very difficult for voters to make a finely calibrated choice or indeed vote for a programme! Jenkins argues that Indian politics is heavily based on patronage politics. […]

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Polling Observatory #35 : Politics, Fast and Slow

  This is the thirty-fifth in a series of posts that report on the state of the parties as measured by opinion polls. By pooling together all the available polling evidence we can reduce the impact of the random variation each individual survey inevitably produces. Most of the short term advances and setbacks in party […]

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The Indian Elections: A perspective from Pakistan

  Elections in the largest democracy of the world are a distant and hardly audible soundbeat for its Western neighbour Pakistan. There is a relatively mute response to the cacophony of political slogans, ideological discourses and contradictory positions on public policy. All this points to gross reductionism that has traditionally barred Pakistanis from understanding the […]

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The Making of Narendra Modi

  Three personalities loom large in the upcoming general elections in India: Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi, and Arvind Kejriwal. The rise of new and first generation politicians like Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal, could modify the post-1989 trend towards dynastic politics, national prominence of regional parties, and the role played by state-level dynamics. This post […]

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Pre-electoral coalitions in 2014

  India has had seven consecutive elections (1989 to 2009) in which no single party won a majority of seats in the Lok Sabha, resulting in hung parliaments. In 1991, the Congress formed a single-party minority government (which achieved a majority half-way through its term) but in all other cases minority coalitions dependent on outside […]

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