Journal article / How Big Political Parties Embrace and Hurt Small Parties in Kerala and Tamil Nadu

Kailash, K. K. “Dhritarashtra’s Embrace: Big and Small Parties in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.” Contemporary South Asia. Published ahead of print, January 26, 2019.

Abstract (edited): Why do we find more parties in the Lok Sabha from Tamil Nadu compared to Kerala, and why are there more parties in the legislative assembly in Kerala compared to Tamil Nadu?

This incongruence is puzzling since elections to both levels of government, federal and state, are based on the single-member simple plurality electoral system and the territorial boundaries of the state, and therefore the societal environment remains constant.

This article argues that this incongruence is not merely the product of the federal parliamentary structure of the polity, electoral rules, and socio-economic factors but also of what parties do. This article gives agency to parties and brings party strategy to the centre of the analysis.

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Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup.