Party Inflation in India: Why Has a Multi-Party Format Prevailed in the National Party System?
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According to Duverger's (1954) famous dictum regarding the relationship between electoral and party systems, the first-past-the-post electoral rule should lead to a two-party system. Strictly speaking, the logic of this prediction applies only to party competition at the district level but Duverger (1954: 288) himself expected that local two-party equilibria would be automatically carried upward to the level of national party politics to produce a national two-party system. However, Gaines (1999) and Johnston and Cutler in the previous chapter of this volume have shown that a Duvergerian two-party equilibrium may emerge only under special circumstances at the district level. Furthermore, beyond the districts the number of parties is governed by the process of party aggregation, which itself is driven by factors other than the electoral system alone (Cox 1997; Chhibber and Kollman 1998, 2004). Indeed, both Gaines and Johnston and Cutler remind us in this volume of the importance of the...