The Causes of Political Party Alliances and Coalitions and their Effects on National Cohesion in India

Electoral politics in India has long been considered a challenge for comparative politics; from the distinctiveness of the transition and consolidation
of democracy and through the understanding of the way in which the
socio-economic complexities of such a heterogeneous society have adapted
to and interacted with the institutions of parliamentary politics. Since the
1990s India has experienced the conjunction of a period of complex electoral
fractionalisation with considerable and sustained economic growth. This has
confounded expectations that the political context that is most conducive to
economic development is one of strong and stable government. Rather, the
contemporary experience of Indian development has occurred against the
backdrop of a dynamic and regionalised party system, with coherence provided
by a weakened central executive which has had to limit direct control over
economic and social policy. To some extent this has been achieved because of an
institutional structure of governance which has responded to the evolution of
popular politics, providing a framework of governance which has reflected some
of the national diversity and filled some of the power vacuums left unfilled by
the fiercely competitive but often corrupt and inefficient party political system.
However, a major factor has been the way in which electoral alliances and
government coalitions have become an accepted feature of Indian democratic
politics, forcing acceptance that compromise, power-sharing, and recognition
of diversity are essential elements of successful government.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: 1999 NDA, BJP, coalition policy, National Agenda for Governance, New Delhi, Single Member Plurality (SMP)
journal of african elections vol13 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa