Key Issues in the Study of State Politics in India
Analysing the interconnections between politics and development in South Asia, this chapter argues that since 1989 power has been decentralised—away from the national level—and at the same time centralised within numerous federal states. A categorization of Indian states regarding their concentration of power is developed and the rise in abuses of power by various Chief Ministers is analysed. Taking a Machiavellian perspective I will addresses the question whether Chief Ministers draw on ‘clientelism’, populism, or ‘post-clientelism’? It will be argued that due to the long-term disadvantages of clientelism and populism, the increase in state revenues led to a proliferation of ‘post-clientelist’ programmes. Additional policy puzzles will be examined such as: do Chief Ministers choose to nurture, distract (through opportunities for enrichment), marginalise or occasionally cut down their subordinates? How and to what extent do Chief Ministers indulge in corruption (for themselves, their parties or in turning a blind eye)? How do Chief Ministers ‘manage’ national leaders?
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