Explaining popular participation in India’s local democracy: Some lessons from panchayats in West Bengal

Anoop Sadanandan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The 73rd amendment to the Indian Constitution launched an extensive experiment in local democracy. Based on a study of 2,794 gram panchayats and field observations in West Bengal, this article examines when and why popular participation in panchayat elections—the most basic and visible aspect of local democracy—differs across local governments. The study finds that gram panchayats witness high levels of participation when they pursue policies that benefit the villagers, such as greater investment in education, and when they are seemingly less corrupt. Investment in public goods and lower rents are known to promote economic development and general welfare. In addition to these familiar implications, this study shows how these policies also have political consequences for democracy in India.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-225
Number of pages14
JournalIndia Review
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017

Fingerprint

democracy
investment in education
participation
rent
witness
amendment
constitution
welfare
India
experiment
economics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

Explaining popular participation in India’s local democracy : Some lessons from panchayats in West Bengal. / Sadanandan, Anoop.

In: India Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, 03.04.2017, p. 212-225.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{fcd7d5271362412a940ea0b2a7ead0f7,
title = "Explaining popular participation in India’s local democracy: Some lessons from panchayats in West Bengal",
abstract = "The 73rd amendment to the Indian Constitution launched an extensive experiment in local democracy. Based on a study of 2,794 gram panchayats and field observations in West Bengal, this article examines when and why popular participation in panchayat elections—the most basic and visible aspect of local democracy—differs across local governments. The study finds that gram panchayats witness high levels of participation when they pursue policies that benefit the villagers, such as greater investment in education, and when they are seemingly less corrupt. Investment in public goods and lower rents are known to promote economic development and general welfare. In addition to these familiar implications, this study shows how these policies also have political consequences for democracy in India.",
author = "Anoop Sadanandan",
year = "2017",
month = "4",
day = "3",
doi = "10.1080/14736489.2017.1313563",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "16",
pages = "212--225",
journal = "India Review",
issn = "1473-6489",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Explaining popular participation in India’s local democracy

T2 - Some lessons from panchayats in West Bengal

AU - Sadanandan, Anoop

PY - 2017/4/3

Y1 - 2017/4/3

N2 - The 73rd amendment to the Indian Constitution launched an extensive experiment in local democracy. Based on a study of 2,794 gram panchayats and field observations in West Bengal, this article examines when and why popular participation in panchayat elections—the most basic and visible aspect of local democracy—differs across local governments. The study finds that gram panchayats witness high levels of participation when they pursue policies that benefit the villagers, such as greater investment in education, and when they are seemingly less corrupt. Investment in public goods and lower rents are known to promote economic development and general welfare. In addition to these familiar implications, this study shows how these policies also have political consequences for democracy in India.

AB - The 73rd amendment to the Indian Constitution launched an extensive experiment in local democracy. Based on a study of 2,794 gram panchayats and field observations in West Bengal, this article examines when and why popular participation in panchayat elections—the most basic and visible aspect of local democracy—differs across local governments. The study finds that gram panchayats witness high levels of participation when they pursue policies that benefit the villagers, such as greater investment in education, and when they are seemingly less corrupt. Investment in public goods and lower rents are known to promote economic development and general welfare. In addition to these familiar implications, this study shows how these policies also have political consequences for democracy in India.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85020391055&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85020391055&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/14736489.2017.1313563

DO - 10.1080/14736489.2017.1313563

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85020391055

VL - 16

SP - 212

EP - 225

JO - India Review

JF - India Review

SN - 1473-6489

IS - 2

ER -