Views from the Indian Electorate: Satisfactions and Dissatisfactions with Democracy, Politics and the Economy

Stepan, Alfred C.

In this paper I present findings from Chapter 2 of the forthcoming book by Alfred Stepan, Juan J. Linz and Yogendra Yadav titled "Crafting State-Nations: India and Other Multinational Democracies". The results presented here are largely drawn from responses to the National Election Studies (NES) and the State of the Nation Surveys coordinated by the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, India over six national elections between 1971-2009. We focus on questions as they pertain to support for democracy, political efficacy and political participation in India. In particular, I focus on the responses of the seven most marginalized groups in the country based on their caste, religious, economic and gender status. These groups are Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Muslim, Very Poor, Poor, Illiterate and Female respondents. The first section of the paper outlines the details of CSDS surveys, how they were conducted and how they compare to alternative national surveys in India and elsewhere. Subsequent sections delve into why India makes a critical case for the "State-Nation" model in our book and the results of the surveys. In the final section of the paper I present results from questions on the Indian economy and how economic change has affected people's perception of their wellbeing.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Program on Indian Economic Policies
School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Program on Indian Economic Policies Working Papers, 2011-2
Published Here
August 3, 2011