Duverger's law and the size of the Indian party system

Diwakar, Rekha (2007) Duverger's law and the size of the Indian party system. Party Politics, 13 (5). pp. 539-561. ISSN 1354-0688

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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
Keywords: District level, Duverger’s law, India, Party system
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sussex European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions and public administration (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.) > JQ0021 Asia > JQ0200 India
Depositing User: Rekha Diwakar
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2016 13:55
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2017 15:31
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61287

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