Bulletin n. 1/2017
June 2017
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Sharma Chanchal Kumar
    A situational theory of pork-barrel politics: The shifting logic of discretionary allocations in India
    in India Review , Volume 16, Issue 1, Continuity and Change in Contemporary Indian Federalism ,  2017 ,  14-41
    Despite the extensive literature on distributive politics, there is still is a lack of a theory of how political and fiscal institutions interact to shape the pork barreling ability of national leaders in a federal parliamentary democracy. This article examines how the party system types (dominant party versus coalition system) and particular attributes of discretionary grants (providing credit claiming opportunity or facilitating side payments) influence opportunities for pork-barrel politics. This article proposes a situational theory of distributive politics that states that incentives for exclusive targeting of affiliated states in one-party dominant systems drive national ruling parties toward particularism while the shrinking opportunity to indulge in such a policy in multiparty coalition systems creates a universalization effect. The disaggregated analysis of discretionary grants using Indian data for 14 states for the one-party dominant period (197289) and the coalition era (19962012) confirms the theoretical expectations. Additionally, the exercise brings to the fore the fact that the shift from particularism to universalism occurs for schematic grants that provide credit claiming opportunity. The ad hoc grants that are like side payments remain subject to particularism.
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