Chanchal Kumar Sharma

A Situational Theory of Pork-Barrel Politics: The Shifting Logic of Discretionary Allocations in India

GIGA Working Paper, No. 298, February 2017

Despite the extensive literature on distributive politics, we still lack a theory of how political and fiscal institutions interact to shape the pork‐barrelling ability of national leaders in a federal parliamentary democracy. Focusing on party system attributes and governmental incentives attached to different types of discretionary grants, this article examines the extent to which a shift in the priorities and interests of the prime minister’s party – effected by the change from a dominant‐party system to a multiparty‐coalition system – is responsible for the change in the dynamics of distributive policies. I use a rich panel dataset on Indian states to propose a situational theory of distributive politics which states that incentives for exclusive targeting of affiliated states in dominant‐party systems drive national ruling parties towards particularism, while the shrinking opportunity to indulge in such a policy in multiparty‐coalition systems creates a universalisation effect. Additionally, the disaggregated analysis of discretionary grants brings to the fore the fact that the shift from particularism to universalism occurs for schematic grants, which provide an opportunity for credit‐claiming. The ad hoc grants, which are like side payments, remain subject to particularism.

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GIGA AutorInnen

Dr. Chanchal Kumar Sharma is an associate at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) and a fellow at the Centre for Multilevel Federalism, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi. He teaches political science at the Central University of Haryana, Mahendergarh.

Aktuelle Publikationen der AutorInnen

Chanchal Kumar Sharma / Sandra Destradi / Johannes Plagemann

Partisan Federalism and Subnational Governments’ International Engagements: Insights from India

Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 50, 2020, 4, 566–592

Chanchal Kumar Sharma / Wilfried Swenden

Economic governance: Does it make or break a dominant party equilibrium? The case of India

International Political Science Review, 41, 2020, 3, 451-465

Arjan H. Schakel / Chanchal Kumar Sharma / Wilfried Swenden

India after the 2014 general elections: BJP dominance and the crisis of the third party system

Regional & Federal Studies, 2019, 329-354

Chanchal Kumar Sharma / Wilfried Swenden

Modi-fying Indian Federalism? Center–State Relations under Modi’s Tenure as Prime Minister

Indian Politics & Policy, 1, 2018, 1, 51-82