Divided We Govern: Coalition Politics in Modern India

 
9780190264918: Divided We Govern: Coalition Politics in Modern India
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Divided We Govern investigates the rise and fall of the broader parliamentary left in modern Indian democracy, and the dynamics of national coalition governments. Since the 1970s, socialist, communist and regional parties in India have sought to forge a progressive 'third force'. Most scholars typically dismiss its principal manifestations -- the Janata Party, National Front and United Front -- as inherently opportunistic coalitions of power-seeking politicians. Sanjay Ruparelia provides a fine-grained analytic narrative to challenge this prevailing wisdom.

Employing a variety of methods and resources, including the rare confidential testimonies of key political actors, Ruparelia demonstrates how the politics of each governing coalition, despite their self-evident flaws and short-lived tenures, revealed the outlines of a distinctive national vision. His fresh analysis of the politics of coalition in India also yields wider theoretical insights. Most studies fail to question or explain how these multiparty governments actually functioned. Hence they overstate the stability of and polarity between multiple political motivations, Ruparelia contends, discounting internal party debates over whether to share power, with whom and to what extent, and how. In such circumstances, the strategies, tactics and choices of actors become especially significant.

The pursuit of power in a highly regionalized federal parliamentary democracy such as India creates incentives to forge national coalition governments, yet paradoxically decreases their chances of surviving. Ultimately, the failure of socialists and communists to judge their real historical possibilities at key junctures led to the decline of the broader Indian left.

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About the Author:


Sanjay Ruparelia is Assistant Professor of Political Science, The New School for Social Research, New York.

Review:


"This book is an outstanding study of coalition politics in India, a major development in the post-Congress phase that the recent rise of the BJP has not made redundant. Ruparelia not only offers a very detailed narrative, he also shows how coalition governments have paradoxically played a key role in the recent history of the 'world's largest democracy' by restoring the rule of law after the Emergency, changing the social content of the regime under V.P. Singh or making overtures to estranged neighbors (including Pakistan and Bangladesh) during the Third Front of the 1990s." -- Christophe Jaffrelot, Research Director at CNRS


"Divided We Govern finally lays to rest the notion that India was comprehensively mis-ruled in the last quarter of the twentieth century by weak and hopelessly divided Third Front coalitions. Sanjay Ruparelia's rich, rigorous and nuanced study reveals the achievements as well as the failures of the Janata, National Front and United Front governments. In so doing, Ruparelia contributes more generally to our understanding of the possibilities of coalition politics in a parliamentary democracy. This is a first-rate and important book." -- Stuart Corbridge, Professor of International Development and Provost, London School of Economics and Political Science


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Divided We Govern investigates the rise and fall of the broader parliamentary left in modern Indian democracy, and the dynamics of national coalition governments. Since the 1970s, socialist, communist and regional parties in India have sought to forge a progressive third force . Most scholars typically dismiss its principal manifestations -- the Janata Party, National Front and United Front -- as inherently opportunistic coalitions of power-seeking politicians. Sanjay Ruparelia provides a fine-grained analytic narrative to challenge this prevailing wisdom. Employing a variety of methods and resources, including the rare confidential testimonies of key political actors, Ruparelia demonstrates how the politics of each governing coalition, despite their self-evident flaws and short-lived tenures, revealed the outlines of a distinctive national vision. His fresh analysis of the politics of coalition in India also yields wider theoretical insights. Most studies fail to question or explain how these multiparty governments actually functioned. Hence they overstate the stability of and polarity between multiple political motivations, Ruparelia contends, discounting internal party debates over whether to share power, with whom and to what extent, and how. In such circumstances, the strategies, tactics and choices of actors become especially significant. The pursuit of power in a highly regionalized federal parliamentary democracy such as India creates incentives to forge national coalition governments, yet paradoxically decreases their chances of surviving. Ultimately, the failure of socialists and communists to judge their real historical possibilities at key junctures led to the decline of the broader Indian left. Seller Inventory # AAC9780190264918

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Divided We Govern investigates the rise and fall of the broader parliamentary left in modern Indian democracy, and the dynamics of national coalition governments. Since the 1970s, socialist, communist and regional parties in India have sought to forge a progressive third force . Most scholars typically dismiss its principal manifestations -- the Janata Party, National Front and United Front -- as inherently opportunistic coalitions of power-seeking politicians. Sanjay Ruparelia provides a fine-grained analytic narrative to challenge this prevailing wisdom. Employing a variety of methods and resources, including the rare confidential testimonies of key political actors, Ruparelia demonstrates how the politics of each governing coalition, despite their self-evident flaws and short-lived tenures, revealed the outlines of a distinctive national vision. His fresh analysis of the politics of coalition in India also yields wider theoretical insights. Most studies fail to question or explain how these multiparty governments actually functioned. Hence they overstate the stability of and polarity between multiple political motivations, Ruparelia contends, discounting internal party debates over whether to share power, with whom and to what extent, and how. In such circumstances, the strategies, tactics and choices of actors become especially significant. The pursuit of power in a highly regionalized federal parliamentary democracy such as India creates incentives to forge national coalition governments, yet paradoxically decreases their chances of surviving. Ultimately, the failure of socialists and communists to judge their real historical possibilities at key junctures led to the decline of the broader Indian left. Seller Inventory # AAC9780190264918

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