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Parties and Party Politics in India

Zoya Hasan (Author)
Synopsis This volume brings together essays on wide ranging issues that impinge on party politics and the challenges confronting the party system. Together, it presents an overall picture of the origins, evolution and transformation of party politics by focusing on important parties and their organization and politics since independence. The introductory chapter provides an outline of the main phases in the development of the party system and the role of social cleavages, political mobilization and electoral change in understanding party politics. It raises a number of questions of general interest: what are the conditions under which parties and party system change? How has the party system managed to cope with social change? How do we understand the contemporary party system and its impact on democracy? Essays following the introductory chapter focus on the development and decline of the Congress party and the problems facing the once dominant Congress party in its pursuit of political support in the post-Nehru period. The second section concentrates on the dramatic rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party, on the nature and character of Hindu nationalism, and its impact on the ideology and social base of the party. Essays in the third section examine how and why the Communists came to power, the Socialist style of politics of the Janata Party/Dal, the strategies of Dravidian parties, and the interactions of parties and society in reshaping ethnic identities and politics. The final section focuses on the transformation of the party system, the growth of coalition politics, and the emergence of the federal arena in which state politics and state-based parties command greater weight and authority. The selection of major writings on the party system and party politics provide arguments on the interplay of caste, class and ethnicity, the relationship between state, society and democracy, the rise of coalition politics, and the organizational crumbling of parties and the new predicaments ahead of the multi-party system. This volume will be invaluable for college and university students, and also for general readers, interested in the dynamics of the much-debated subject of party politics in India.
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About the author

Zoya Hasan

Zoya Hasan is Professor of Political Science, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has published widely in academic journals and periodicals and is the author of Dominance and Mobilisation: Rural Politics in Western Utter Pradesh (1989) and Quest for Power: Oppositional movements and Post-Congress Politics in Uttar Pradesh (1998).

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Bibliographic information

Title Parties and Party Politics in India
Author Zoya Hasan
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 2nd ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195668332
length xvi+566p., Tables; Bibliography; Index; 22cm.