Will India under the BJP see a period of renewed communal violence, or will Hindu-nationalist politicians be reined in by constitutional constraints and their desire to stay in power?
A review of Crafting State-Nations: India and Other Multinational Democracies by Alfred Stepan, Juan J. Linz, and Yogendra Yadav.
India has long baffled theorists of democracy. Democratic theory holds that poverty, widespread illiteracy, and a deeply hierarchical social structure are inhospitable conditions for the functioning of democracy. Yet except for 18 months in 1975-77, India has maintained its democratic institutions ever since it became independent of Britain in 1947. Over those five decades, there have been 12 parliamentary elections and many more state assembly elections. Peaceful transfers of power between rival political parties have occurred seven times at the central (i.e., federal) level.