India’s growing economic and socio-political importance on the global stage has triggered an increased interest in the country. This Handbook is a reference guide, which surveys the current state of Indian politics and provides a basic understanding of the ways in which the world’s largest democracy functions.

The Handbook is structured around four main topics: political change, political economy, the diversity of regional development, and the changing role of India in the world. Chapters examine how and why democracy in India put down firm roots, but also why the quality of governance offered by India’s democracy continues to be low. The acceleration of economic growth since the mid-1980s is discussed, and the Handbook goes on to look at the political and economic changes in selected states, and how progress across Indian states continues to be uneven. It concludes by touching on the issue of India’s international relations, both in South Asia and the wider world.

The Handbook offers an invigorating initiation into the seemingly daunting and complex terrain of Indian politics. It is an invaluable resource for academics, researchers, policy analysts, graduate and undergraduate students studying Indian politics.

chapter 1|17 pages


Politics in India—an overview
ByAtul Kohli, Prerna Singh

part Part I|168 pages

Political change

part I.I|16 pages

Historical legacy

chapter 2|14 pages

The Historical Inheritance Of India's Democracy

ByMaya Tudor

part I.II|32 pages


chapter 3|15 pages

Gandhi's India, The World's Gandhi

Gandhi at home and in the world
BySusanne Hoeber Rudolph, Lloyd I. Rudolph

chapter 4|8 pages

Nehru And His Legacy

ByJivanta Schoettli

chapter 5|7 pages

India's Minority Leaders

ByNiraja Gopal Jayal

part I.III|36 pages

Political institutions, state institutions

chapter 6|10 pages

Panchayat Raj Institutions

ByRani D. Mullen

chapter 8|14 pages

Regional And Caste Parties

BySuhas Palshikar

part I.IV|82 pages

Identity and community politics

chapter 9|12 pages

Caste And Political Parties In India

Do Indians vote their caste—while casting their vote?
ByChristophe Jaffrelot

chapter 10|10 pages

Dalit Politics

Untouchability, identity, and assertion
ByHugo Gorringe

chapter 11|15 pages

Class Politics In India

Euphemization, identity, and power 1
ByRonald J. Herring

chapter 12|11 pages


ByGurpreet Mahajan

chapter 13|12 pages

The State And Civil Society In Communal Violence

Sparks and fires
ByAshutosh Varshney, Joshua Gubler

chapter 14|11 pages

Insurgencies In India

ByPaul Staniland

chapter 15|9 pages

People's Movements In India

ByJennifer Bussell

part Part II|72 pages

Political economy: Economic and social development

chapter 16|15 pages

India's Economic Development

ByR. Nagaraj

chapter 17|7 pages

The State And The Capitalist Class In India

ByVivek Chibber, Adaner Usmani

chapter 18|11 pages

Politics And Redistribution In India

ByJohn Harriss

chapter 19|8 pages

Corruption In India

ByStuart Corbridge

chapter 21|12 pages

Labor Regulation, Trade Unions, And Unemployment

ByEmmanuel Teitelbaum

part Part III|49 pages

Diversity of regional developments

chapter 22|9 pages

Uttar Pradesh

New patterns of mobilization in the 1990s and beyond
BySudha Pai

chapter 23|12 pages

Kerala In Comparative Perspective

Movements, politics, and democracy
ByPatrick Heller

chapter 24|9 pages

Tamil Nadu

ByAdam Ziegfeld

chapter 25|7 pages

West Bengal

ByManali Desai

chapter 26|10 pages


ByJeffrey Witsoe

part |61 pages

PART IV India and the world

chapter 27|9 pages

India And The World

The vicissitudes of mutual adjustment
ByBaldev Raj Nayar

chapter 28|11 pages

India In Asia

Geostrategic and economic considerations
ByLawrence Sáez

chapter 29|8 pages

The Indo—Pakistani Conflict

BySumit Ganguly

chapter 30|11 pages

India And Nuclear Weapons

ByKanti Bajpai

chapter 31|12 pages

India's Evolving Security Strategy

ByVipin Narang