Special Section on Politics and Society Between Elections

DOI10.1177/2321023020963215
Publication Date01 Dec 2020
AuthorSiddharth Swaminathan,Sandeep Shastri
SubjectSpecial Section on Politics & Society Between ElectionsIntroduction
Introduction
Special Section
on Politics and Society
Between Elections
Siddharth Swaminathan1 and Sandeep Shastri2
We are happy that through this special section of Studies in Indian Politics, we bring together papers
based on a joint project undertaken by Lokniti and Azim Premji University.
Politics and Society between Elections, a research collaboration between Azim Premji University and
the Lokniti Programme for Comparative Democracy of the Centre for Study of Developing Societies
(CSDS), is a public opinion study of the social and political universes Indian citizens inhabit in times
between elections.3 Covering 23 states and the National Capital Region of Delhi, this survey delves into
a range of topics of particular interest to social scientists studying contemporary India such as the inter-
actions between citizens and between state institutions and the citizens, and the sorts of perceptions,
attitudes and opinions that everyday forms of governance produce within society in periods between
elections. And importantly, this survey also serves as a snapshot of public opinion at this moment in
India’s political development—one that we consider extremely significant and with long-term implica-
tions for democratic deepening.
This project was motivated by a belief that while a great deal is known about politics and society dur-
ing elections, our knowledge of politics and society between elections is relatively underdeveloped.
Since the mid-1990s, Lokniti’s National Election Studies (NES) have systematically researched electoral
behaviour in India, covering parliamentary and state assembly elections since 1996 (Chhibber & Verma,
2014; Jaffrelot & Kumar, 2009; Palshikar et al., 2014, 2017; Shastri et al., 2009; Shastri et al.,
Forthcoming; also, special issues of Asian Survey (2012, vol. 52, issue 2), Economic and Political Weekly
(2004, vol. 51, 2009, vol. 39 and 2014, (vol. 39), Studies in Indian Politics (2015, vol. 3(1) and 2019,
vol. 7(2)) and Indian Politics and Policy (vol. 3(1)). Numerous commentaries have also appeared peri-
odically in leading newspapers such as The Times of India, The Hindu and The Indian Express, among
Studies in Indian Politics
8(2) 131–134, 2020
© 2020 Lokniti, Centre for the
Study of Developing Societies
Reprints and permissions:
in.sagepub.com/journals-permissions-india
DOI: 10.1177/2321023020963215
journals.sagepub.com/home/inp
1 Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
2 JAIN (Deemed-to-be) University, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
3
The overall findings of the study are presented in Swaminathan and Palshikar (2020). Details of the survey including summary
reports, sampling design, States covered, and the survey instrument are available at Lokniti (lokniti.org) and The Centre for
Regional Political Economy (crpe.azimpremjiuniversity.edu.in).
Corresponding author:
Siddharth Swaminathan, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560100, India.
E-mail: siddharth.swaminathan@apu.edu.in

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