The Continuing Importance of Regional Parties: The View from Tamil Nadu

The results of the 2014 Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu showed that regional parties continue to dominate politics in the state.  The headline story is the remarkable victory of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).  The AIADMK won 37 out of 39 seats in the state, beating its rival the Dravida Munnetra […]

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Nigel Farage: my part in his rise

The photo (above) is of the Radio 4 and 5 election night studio, at some point in the early hours of Friday morning, as the local election results trickled in. If you stare at it really hard, you can just about see the top of my bald head sticking out above the computer screen at […]

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Excluded from the political process: the right to political participation of persons with disabilities

  New research findings published by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) suggest that full political participation of persons with disabilities can be achieved if an adequate legal and policy framework is in place, which enables citizens with disabilities equal access to all aspects of the political process, such as voting in elections, being members […]

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What’s left of the Left?

Even as the exit polls were being broadcast, with predictions that the Left Front would be decimated (the predictions placed the Left as securing 7-13 votes), party boss Sitaram Yechury put up a brave face. “We won’t do that badly”, he commented baldly. In the event, his stand was partially vindicated- they won more than […]

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Operation Bunnyhug: What’s in a name?

This year’s First World War centenary also marks another unusual anniversary – the birth of military operation codenames. This legacy is one with which we continue to live today, but how are these chosen and what do they mean? The use of operational code names began in Germany during ‘The Great War’ and became increasingly […]

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Let the Millennials grow up (the apathetic youth and other myths)

  In two recent blog posts in reaction to PEW and Harvard Public Opinion Project reports on Millennials, John Sides warned against equating the millennial generation’s more liberal and Democratic-leaning preferences with a bright future for the Democratic Party. However, he closes his report acknowledging that the “political formation of younger Millennials isn’t over”. The […]

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Why UKIP Leader Nigel Farage should be invited to take part in the 2015 leadership debates

In the lead up to the 2010 general election, no one would have dreamed of inviting UKIP leader Nigel Farage to participate in the United Kingdom’s first ever televised leadership debates. Having consistently polled less than 5 per cent of the popular vote since the last general election, and without a single MP in Parliament, […]

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Modi-fying India? A presidential campaign and the challenge of parliamentary governance

With the din of the Indian election campaign dying away and the refrain of the BJP – “Abki baar, Modi sarkar” (This time, Modi government) – about to be realised, the implications of this momentous result can be assessed. After a quarter of a century the accepted wisdom of Indian electoral politics that coalition politics […]

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Modi and the United States

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  has won an unprecedented victory in India’s sixteenth general election. The scope of its victory ensures that the prime minister apparent, Narendra Modi, will not need to pay much heed to the sentiments of his coalition allies in the conduct of the country’s domestic or foreign policies. How will this […]

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A historic election or business as usual?

So, many pundits (including this one) on India have egg all over their faces.  There will never be a single party majority government again, we said.  Well, the man from Gujarat with the 56″ chest (his words, not mine) has confounded all expectations.  The BJP secured 282 seats, well in excess of the 272 required […]

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