American Institute of Indian studies
AIIS-IIC Lecture series-22
A talk on
“The Economy, Business, and India’s 2014 Parliamentary Elections”
Associate professor in the Department of Politics
University of Virginia.
Surjit S Bhalla.
Dr. Ujjwal Kumar Singh
Professor, Department of Political Science
January 6, 2014
Synopsis: India’s liberalizing economic reforms have been accompanied by the growing power of its business class. At a time of rising inequality, the increase of business influence has been a matter of concern for many. This talk will assess the implications of increased business influence for India’s elections and its economic policy. It will argue that the problem of growing business power is less a matter of its growth and more a matter of the how it is exercised – in particular the manner in which illegal contributions have financed the continued viability of India’s dynastic political parties. The presentation will begin by exploring India’s current economic challenges. Then it examines the manner in which business has exercised its influence through India’s elections. Finally, it will speculate about the likely consequences of the 2014 parliamentary elections for business’s political influence and India’s economic policy.
JOHN ECHEVERRI-GENT is associate professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. He is author of The State and the Poor: Public Policy and Political Development in India and the United States and co-editor of Economic Reform in Three Giants: U.S. Foreign Policy and the USSR, China, and India. He has written many articles in comparative public policy and the political economy of development. His most recent publication is “Understanding India’s Response to the Global Financial Crisis: From Quick Rebound to Endless Slowdown?” forthcoming in a volume to be published by the Brookings Institution. He is currently completing a book-length manuscript entitled Politics of Markets: Political Economy of India’s Capital Markets. He serves as treasurer of the American Institute of Indian Studies.