Talk • Remaking Indian Federalism and Its Discontents

March 24, 2023 @ 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
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Abstract: The functioning of Indian federalism is shaped by the three factors—the economics of fiscal federalism, the robustness of institutions and sub-national cultural identity. To be sure, India was never truly federal—it was a ‘holding together federalism’ in contrast to the ‘coming together federalism,’ in which smaller independent entities come together to form a federation (as in the United States of America). The founding fathers of this republic, too, believed a degree of centralisation in fiscal power was required to address the inherited socio-economic and regional disparities. Given this asymmetry, the limits of federalism and its effectiveness are largely a function of external variables; the nature of political coalitions at the centre and the role of states in such a coalition.  Drawing on historical data and contemporary fiscal statistics, the presentation will map the trajectory of this complex relationship between the politics of inequality and fiscal federalism in India.

Speaker: Kalaiyarasan A. is an Assistant Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, India. He was previously a Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University and was a research faculty at the National Institute of Labour Economics Research and Development, a research wing of NITI Aayog (Planning Commission), Government of India. His academic interest lies in regional political economy, structural inequalities and comparative political economy in the global south.  His recent publications are The Dravidian Model: Interpreting Political Economy of Tamil Nadu (Cambridge University Press 2021, co-authored) and Rethinking Social Justice (Orient Blackswan 2020, co-editor).


March 24, 2023
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
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IIT Bombay
Mumbai, 400076 India
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