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Discipline in disorder: Does party discipline drive disruptions in the Indian Parliament?
Published in Elsevier BV
The paper examines an unexplored form of legislative obstruction, parliamentary disruptions, in the context of the Indian parliament. We offer a two-fold explanation for why parliamentary disruptions are frequent in India. Firstly, we argue that political and institutional developments after the 1980s have led to very high concentration of power in the hands of the leadership of parliamentary parties. This has empowered party leaders to exert party discipline over legislators for the conduct of disruptions, an act that breaks the norms and rules of parliamentary functioning. Secondly, we empirically show that party discipline is exerted by presenting legislative and electoral incentives to legislators for being active in disruptions: (a) Legislators, who participate visibly in disruptions, are favored with more opportunities to represent the party in parliamentary debates as well as higher likelihood of party re-nomination in the next elections. (b) Among legislators that participate in disruptions, those that incur high private costs, in the act of disruption, are likely to receive higher payoffs and (c) The magnitude of legislator payoffs is contingent on the party's position in parliament. For the empirical analysis, we use primary data on disruptions in the Indian parliament during the five year tenure of the 15th Lok Sabha.
About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetSSRN Electronic Journal
PublisherData powered by TypesetElsevier BV
Open AccessNo