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Duverger's Law and the Size Of the Indian Party Sytem

Diwakar, Rekha. 2007. Duverger's Law and the Size Of the Indian Party Sytem. Party Politics, 13, pp. 539-561. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Duverger's law postulates that single-member plurality electoral systems lead to two-party systems. Existing scholarship regards India as an exception to this law at national level, but not at district level. This study tests the latter hypothesis through analysis of a comprehensive dataset covering Indian parliamentary elections in the period 1952—2004. The results show that a large number of Indian districts do not conform to the Duvergerian norm of two-party competition, and that there is no consistent movement towards the Duvergerian equilibrium. Furthermore, inter-region and inter-state variations in the size of district-level party systems make it difficult to generalize about the application of Duverger's law to the Indian case. The study concludes that a narrow focus on electoral rules is inadequate, and that a more comprehensive set of explanatory variables is needed to explain the size of the Indian party system even at the district level.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1177/1354068807080083

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Politics

Dates:

DateEvent
September 2007Published

Item ID:

6346

Date Deposited:

30 Dec 2011 10:48

Last Modified:

10 Jul 2018 06:50

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/6346

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