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Centre for South Asian Studies: Research


Theme III : Federalism, Political Parties and Fiscal Federalism

A third theme of the network seeks to understand the transformation of the Indian party system into a multi-level party system and in turn looks at how this may have affected the performance of the Indian federation in general and its political economy in particular. Some of the questions that are look at more in detail are:

 (1) how can we explain the rise of new parties in the Indian multi-level party system and to what extend is the federal structure facilitating their emergence but inhibiting their territorial spread?

(2) to what extent have Indian polity-wide parties (more in particular Congress and the BJP) adapted to the political resurgence of the Indian states and decentralized their decision-making structures accordingly?

(3) Why has the entrenchment of coalition government at the centre (1994-2014) not produced clearer signs of authority migration (the transfer of constitutional competences from the centre to the states)?

(4) To what extent have regional coalition parties at the centre used their position of influence to extract resources from the centre that benefit their state constituents or state interests more generally?

(5) How do we explain party political responses to greater inter-state inequalities which may have emanated from liberalization and/or different policy choices of state political regimes?

(6) To what extent has economic liberalization enhanced state autonomy or - on the contrary- generated central (and international) monitoring mechanisms which effectively had a re-centralizing effect?

Working papers on some of these issues will be made available towards the end of 2015 



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