India’s Unlikely Democracy: Economic Growth and Political Accommodation

Issue Date April 2007
Volume 18
Issue 2
Page Numbers 41-54
file Print
external View Citation

There is no doubt that India’s democracy has become stable, yet economic change could create distributional conflicts and stresses on its democratic institutions. Economic change and liberalization have served to reinforce and further stabilize democracy rather than undermining it. This has happened partly because of the nature of economic and social transition, which has allowed the rich many options in the private, urban, and global economy. Simultaneously, the poor are divided and seek redress through electoral and democratic channels. Weak coalition governments in the 1990s have responded to claims from the poor contributing to the continuing stability of Indian democracy.