By Milan Vaishnav
In India, the world’s biggest democracy, the symbiotic dating among crime and politics increases complicated questions. for example, how can loose and reasonable democratic strategies exist along rampant illegal activity? Why do political events recruit applicants with reputations for wrongdoing? Why are one-third of nation and nationwide legislators elected—and frequently re-elected—in spite of legal fees pending opposed to them? during this eye-opening learn, political scientist Milan Vaishnav mines a wealthy array of assets, together with fieldwork on political campaigns and interviews with applicants, get together employees, and citizens, huge surveys, and an unique database on politicians’ backgrounds to provide the 1st accomplished research of a subject that has implications for the research of democracy either inside and past India’s borders.
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Extra info for When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics
For those who are interested, I have made this database publicly available through my personal website. The database contains detailed information on the criminal and financial attributes of nearly 60,000 candidates from 35 state and two national elections held between 2003 and 2009. In addition, I compiled data on the 8,000-plus candidates contesting the 2014 national election to demonstrate the contemporary relevance of the issues presented here. The data are not perfect (I discuss some of their salient features, including shortcomings, in subsequent chapters), but they are an important source of reference material.
This book takes advantage of this unique democratic laboratory. LESSONS BEYOND INDIA While the aim of this book is to analyze debates about crime and politics within the context of India’s democracy, its findings are relevant far beyond India’s borders. Indeed, as a diverse array of scholars has documented, India has plenty of company when it comes to individuals with dubious biographies playing an active role in electoral politics. Brazilians, for instance, have coined a Portuguese phrase to describe a politician who is known to run afoul of the law yet perceived to function as an effective representative: “rouba, mas faz” (He robs, but he gets things done).
Yet often parties appear to compete with one another to embrace candidates under criminal scrutiny. Third, although elections have been typically viewed as an opportunity to “throw the rascals out,” might voters have sound reasons for actually keeping the “rascals” in? Individuals with serious criminal records might have private incentives to stand for election, and parties may have reasons for giving them a platform, but that does not necessarily compel voters to support them on Election Day. This is especially true in countries where elections are deemed reasonably free and fair.
When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics by Milan Vaishnav