India’s general election: Will the South save or sink the Congress Party?

The four states – Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala – and two union territories (Puducherry and Lakshadweep) of south India that return 131 of the 543 members of the Lok Sabha have been crucial to the survival of India’s grand old ruling party. In four of the five general elections after Congress was […]

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Competition: #GreatYouthEUDebate

Have something to say about Britain’s relationship with the EU? Interested in writing for the School’s political blog? We are giving students the opportunity to write for the School of Politics & International Relations blog “Ballots and Bullets” by entering the #GreatYouthEUDebate competition and we want YOU to get involved. Not only will it be […]

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Tamil Nadu: The Southern Crucible

  Tamil Nadu has become an important state in national politics since the onset of national coalition governments in 1996. Regional parties from the state have participated in all coalitions formed since then. For nearly fifty years Tamil Nadu has been governed by parties that claim the state has a distinctive south Indian or ‘Dravidian’ […]

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A Transformed Foreign Policy? Foreign policy commitments (or their absence) in the Indian election

  India is currently in the throes of its sixteenth general election with 814 million eligible voters. The significance of this election for the future of the world’s largest democracy cannot be overstated. If a spate of pre-election polls are to be believed the Indian National Congress  (INC) led United Progressive Alliance may face a […]

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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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