ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

CentralisationSubscribe to Centralisation

A New, Fundamentally Different Political Order: The Emergence and Future Prospects of ‘Competitive Authoritarianism’ in India

India is no longer a liberal democracy. Bharatiya janata Party leaders are creating a new kind of political order that is an example of “competitive authoritarianism.” They have mounted a broad assault on democratic institutions, norms and practices. Their ongoing drive for top-down control has targeted Parliament, cabinet, government, the Election Commission, the media and many other institutions and interest groups, including major corporations, senior civil servants and the BJP’s own party organisation. Because the new order seeks to create a one-man government, with adulation focused on a single leader, it is more a cult than a well-rooted and institutionalised system. Its long-term survival, after the leader moves away from the scene, is open to serious doubt.

The Welfarist Prime Minister: Explaining the National-State Election Gap

This article seeks to understand the puzzling disjuncture between the Bharatiya Janata Party’s sweeping electoral success in recent national elections and its lacklustre performance in state elections. I suggest that this phenomenon is a result of centralisation in welfare delivery, which leads to greater attribution of welfare benefits for the Prime Minister. In turn, state chief ministers who have built their reputation on welfare delivery, many of whom are in the Bharatiya Janata Party or allied with it, have been adversely impacted. The consequences for current and future patterns of state politics are described.

Decentralising Environmental Justice

Many consider that the National Green Tribunal, a relatively centralised and specialised court, set up in 2011 for “effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection”, is a misfit for a vast country like India, due to its inaccessibility to the majority of people.

Politics of Opportunism

Political developments in Pakistan since 1999 have seen growing moves at power centralisation, accompanied by a curtailment of constitutional directives and other institutions of democratic governance. With western powers paying mere lip-service to universal civilisational principle, it is the politics of opportunism that now forms the new guiding principle much as it had during military regimes in another era.

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