Effects and Implications of Coalition Governments on the Political Scnerio in India

Topics: Lok Sabha, United Progressive Alliance, India Pages: 42 (16293 words) Published: June 26, 2009
Amity School of Communication
Effects and implications of coalition governments on the political scenario in India Abstract:
Parliamentary democracies ruled by multiparty cabinets make foreign policy decisions in a fairly unique institutional context, complicated by the politics of coalition government. Recent research suggests that this context is associated with foreign policy behaviors that are quite distinct in character from foreign policy made by single party cabinets. In particular, coalitions tend to engage in more extreme (both more peaceful and more aggressive) and more committed foreign policies. In this paper, we examine the reasons behind extreme foreign policy choices by coalition cabinets. We also investigate the proposition that some coalitions are more likely to engage in conflictual behavior, while others are more likely to be cooperative. In doing so, we unpack the category of coalitions and study the effects that certain cabinet characteristics have on foreign policy. In particular, we examine the effects of coalition strength, the number of parties in the coalition, and the ideological placement of coalition parties. These characteristics stem from different institutional and political situations that coalitions face, but are also connected to long-standing psychological explanations of group decision making. Our study is a quantitative analysis using published data on the characteristics of coalitions. Politics of India

The place in a framework of a federal parliamentary multi-party representative democratic republic modeled after the British Westminster System. The Prime Minister of India is the head of government, while the President of India is the formal head of state and holds substantial reserve powers, placing him or her in approximately the same position as the British monarch. Executive power is exercised by the government. Federal legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of the Parliament of India. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. According to its constitution, India is a "sovereign socialist secular democratic republic." India is the largest state by population with a democratically-elected government. Like the United States, India has a federal form of government, however, the central government in India has greater power in relation to its states, and its central government is patterned after the British parliamentary system. Regarding the former, "the Centre", the national government, can and has dismissed state governments if no majority party or coalition is able to form a government or under specific Constitutional clauses, and can impose direct federal rule known as President's rule. Locally, the Panchayati Raj system has several administrative functions. For most of the years since independence, the federal government has been led by the Indian National Congress (INC), Politics in the states have been dominated by several national parties including the INC, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) and various regional parties. From 1950 to 1990, barring two brief periods, the INC enjoyed a parliamentary majority. The INC was out of power between 1977 and 1980, when the Janata Party won the election owing to public discontent with the corruption of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In 1989, a Janata Dal-led National Front coalition in alliance with the Left Front coalition won the elections but managed to stay in power for only two years. As the 1991 elections gave no political party a majority, the INC formed a minority government under Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and was able to complete its five-year term. The years 1996–1998 were a period of turmoil in the federal government with several short-lived alliances holding sway. The BJP formed a government briefly in 1996, followed by the United Front coalition that excluded both the BJP...
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