Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Democratic Dynasties
State, Party, and Family in Contemporary Indian Politics

$29.99 (C)

Kanchan Chandra, Lloyd I. Rudolph, Susanne H. Rudolph, Francesca Jensenius, Adam Ziegfeld, Amrita Basu, Simon Chauchard, Anjali Thomas Bohlken
View all contributors
  • Date Published: February 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107558915

$ 29.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Dynastic politics, usually presumed to be the antithesis of democracy, is a routine aspect of politics in many modern democracies. This book introduces a new theoretical perspective on dynasticism in democracies, using original data on twenty-first-century Indian parliaments. It argues that the roots of dynastic politics lie at least in part in modern democratic institutions - states and parties - which give political families a leg-up in the electoral process. It also proposes a rethinking of the view that dynastic politics is a violation of democracy, showing that it can also reinforce some aspects of democracy while violating others. Finally, this book suggests that both reinforcement and violation are the products, not of some property intrinsic to political dynasties, but of the institutional environment from which those dynasties emerge.

    • The first book-length study of dynastic politics in modern democracies
    • Offers a new perspective on how dynasties develop and why they matter
    • Uses original data from twenty-first-century Indian parliaments to introduce a new theoretical perspective on dynasticism in democracies
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This book delves into dynasticism in Indian politics, sometimes to surprising effect. In so doing it sets the stage for future work in the area. A valuable addition to the active literature on political dynasties."
    Ernesto dal Bó, University of California, Berkeley

    "This path-breaking book brings together a wealth of original data and acute analysis to unsettle our assumptions about dynastic politics, and shows how dynasty can sometimes strengthen democracy by furthering the inclusion of disadvantaged groups."
    Niraja Gopal Jayal, Jawaharlal Nehru University

    "This rich collection takes us deep into the complexities surrounding dynasticism in Indian politics. Ambiguities are embraced and explained. Shrewdly formulated questions yield perceptive, sometimes surprising answers. This is a book of great value."
    James Manor, School of Advanced Study, University of London

    "This volume makes an important and timely contribution to an emerging literature on dynasties in democracies. Using new data on the family ties of politicians, the chapters offer a range of fresh insights into how dynasties shape contemporary Indian politics."
    Daniel M. Smith, Harvard University, Massachusetts

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107558915
    • length: 302 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 27 b/w illus. 43 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Prologue Kanchan Chandra
    1. Democratic dynasties: state, party and family in contemporary Indian politics Kanchan Chandra
    2. The 'old regime' confronts democracy Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne H. Rudolph
    3. A sign of backwardness? Where dynastic leaders are elected in India Francesca Jensenius
    4. Dynasticism across Indian political parties Adam Ziegfeld
    5. Women, dynasties and democracy in India Amrita Basu
    6. Reservations and dynastic politics Simon Chauchard
    7. Why forward castes have a dynastic advantage: dynasty, party and co-ethnic favouritism Kanchan Chandra
    8. Dynastic path to power Anjali Thomas Bohlken

  • Editor

    Kanchan Chandra, New York University
    Kanchan Chandra is Professor of Politics at New York University. She is lead author of Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics (2012), author of Why Ethnic Parties Succeed: Patronage and Ethnic Headcounts in India (2004), and has written articles for several leading journals. Her work has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Princeton Program on Democracy and Development, the Carnegie and Guggenheim Foundations, the National Science Foundation, the United States Institute of Peace, the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioural Sciences at Stanford University, Connecticut, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.


    Kanchan Chandra, Lloyd I. Rudolph, Susanne H. Rudolph, Francesca Jensenius, Adam Ziegfeld, Amrita Basu, Simon Chauchard, Anjali Thomas Bohlken

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.