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India's 1999 Elections and 20th Century Politics

Paul Wallace (Editor) Ramashray Roy (Editor)
Synopsis The parliamentary elections of 1999 - India's last elections in the 20 century - serve as a useful prism through which to examine the changing nature of Indian politics, both at the state and national levels, since independence in 1947. Bringing together reputed scholars from around the world, this volume describes and explains many facets of India's current political landscape - in particular, the recent emergence of a complex multi-party system at the national level. The first two chapters focus on the broader issues. They review 50 years of national politics showing the resilience of multiculturalism and emphasizing the normative content of elections in terms of what they contribute to the democratic development of India. These chapters show that while multi-party based alliances involve political fusion they also encourage political fission as splinters groups emerge to become small parties and then claim a share in power. The ensuing 15 chapters examine these developments and processes at the state level. The contributors show that considerations of power rather than ideology have come to dominate coalition tactics. While each state has its own particularities, they largely mirror that national scene in terms of their political configurations. State-society relations in Kashmir, the role of caste in Bihar, and the politics of secessionism in Punjab are some of the specific issues taken up. The contributors examine the role played by factors such as caste, ethnicity and religion as also the increasing communalization of politics. They show that leadership, rather than the institutionalization of parties, appears to be playing an increasingly important role in Indian politics while maintaining that one-party dominance appears to be a thing of the past. Each chapter is rich in both empirical analysis and election data culled from primary sources. Overall, the volume provides many insights into India's current political reality and will be of considerable interest to a wide readership. It will also serve a supplementary reading for courses in Indian politics, political sociology, and psephology.
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About the authors

Paul Wallace

Paul Wallace (PhD, University of California, Berkeley) is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He has been a consultant on South Asia to a member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the US Attorney General's Office, defense lawyers, and other agencies in North America and has received five Smithsonian-funded awards for national election studies in India. In September 2003, Professor Wallace served as the expert witness on Sikh violence at the Air India trial in Vancouver, Canada. His research in India includes a Senior Fulbright Research Award in 1972, and funding from the Ford Foundation, 1988-89, the American Institute of Indian Studies (1980-81), and various government and non-government groups in India. Professor Wallace is the author or editor of eight books and 40+ book chapters and articles. His last co-edited book is India's 2009 Elections: Coalition Politics, Party Competition and Congress Continuity" published by SAGE Publications in 2011.

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Ramashray Roy

Prof. Ramashray Roy is an eminent political philosopher who has, through his numerous writing, opened new vistas not only in different areas of social sciences but also in Vedic studies. Prof. Roy worked as a Senior Fellow as well as Director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, Director of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi as well as its National Fellow and Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advance Study, Shimla. He is currently the Fellow of the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. He has published more than two dozen books and over fifty articles in Journals in India and outside. His publications include Dalit, Development and Democracy; Politics and Society; Politics and Beyond; Sanskaras in India Tradition and Culture (SHIPRA).

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Bibliographic information

Title India's 1999 Elections and 20th Century Politics
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 817829091X
length xvi+443p., Tables; Figures; Maps; Index; 25cm.
Subjects History