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Introduction: Constitutionalism and the Evolution of Democracy in India

Newbigin, Eleanor; Shani, Ornit; Legg, Stephen

Authors

Eleanor Newbigin en2@soas.ac.uk

Ornit Shani shanio@research.haifa.ac.il



Abstract

© 2016 by Duke University Press. The essays in this special section make a significant intervention into debates about the evolution of democracy in South Asia by prompting us to rethink the role of constitutionalism in this process. They focus on three constitutional moments in early twentieth-century Indian history: the inauguration of dyarchy under the 1919 Government of India Act; the application of provincial autonomy under the 1935 Government of India Act; and the preparation of the draft roll for India's first general election, held shortly after the inauguration of the republican constitution in 1950. They show that, far from being the product of clear political settlement, these moments were shaped by historical contingency and, often, conflict. In so doing, the articles offer new ways of thinking about state institutions in this period, not as monolithic forces located outside society, but as complex sites of interaction that were continuously being reshaped both from within and without the official ranks of government administration. Together, they suggest that constitutionalism was a far more dynamic force in the shaping of India's transition to democracy than has been recognized hitherto.

Citation

Newbigin, E., Shani, O., & Legg, S. (2016). Introduction: Constitutionalism and the Evolution of Democracy in India. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 36(1), 42-43. https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-3482099

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 8, 2015
Online Publication Date Apr 28, 2016
Publication Date Apr 28, 2016
Deposit Date Aug 6, 2015
Publicly Available Date Apr 28, 2016
Journal Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East
Print ISSN 1089-201X
Electronic ISSN 1548-226X
Publisher Duke University Press
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 1
Pages 42-43
DOI https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-3482099
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/29008
Publisher URL https://read.dukeupress.edu/cssaame/article-abstract/36/1/42/59956/IntroductionConstitutionalism-and-the-Evolution-of?redirectedFrom=fulltext
Related Public URLs https://www.dukeupress.edu/Comparative-Studies-of-South-Asia-Africa-and-the-Middle-East
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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