Fall 2022

Democratic Erosion in India

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-251


Gilles Verniers (Section 01)


India rarely figures in comparative studies of democratic backsliding, although the speed and magnitude of democratic erosion in India exceeds that of most other democracies. We will explore the extent to which India’s democratic decline is rooted in the design of institutions and continuous with earlier trends or has become qualitatively different since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party achieved national dominance. We will examine several sources and manifestations of democratic decline, including the skewed character of electoral competition, declining freedom of the press, and the state’s amendments to citizenship laws and repression of civil society through its recourse to draconian and antiquated legislation. A particularly important question concerns the transformation of the political system amidst the growth of violence, particularly against religious minorities. Although the major focus of the course is India, we will explore democracy and authoritarianism in other South Asian countries.

Fall semester. Karl Loewenstein Fellow Verniers.

How to handle overenrollment: Priority given to Political Science majors.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on reading, analytical skills, speaking, and oral presentations.

POSC 251 - LEC

Section 01
M 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CLAR 100
W 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CLAR 100


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022