Swaraj and sweepers : the JP Movement and the future of transformational politics

Salter, Robert Graeme (2000) Swaraj and sweepers : the JP Movement and the future of transformational politics. PhD thesis, Victoria University of Technology.


The thesis examines the question of how democracy might be deepened, particular so that it becomes more inclusive of currently marginalised groups and can thus meet their needs more fully. It focuses on India, drawing on interviews and visits to organisations, as well as on secondary sources, but it also utilises empirical and theoretical material from outside India, and it is suggested that the conclusions of the thesis may be applicable beyond India. From the 1960s, across the world, the 'new politics' - the politics of protest, local level action, new questions, new participants and specific-issue campaigns - has also sought to deepen democracy. It is argued, however, that while this kind of politics is a necessary component of effective democracy, it is not in itself sufficient to achieve the transformational goals to which it aspires. In rejecting or underemphasising the possibility of achieving change through more conventional political institutions, especially through governments and political parties, the new politics risks political ineffectiveness, for reasons that are identified in the thesis. It is argued that what is required is a combination of the old and new politics, and a particular model that embodies this is advanced. Major political change - such as the attainment of independence or formal democracy or the deepening of democracy - has often been achieved through broad alliances of organisations, termed 'aggregated civil bases', in the thesis, and examples of these are cited. The thesis focuses on the scope for change through what are termed 'democratic-deepening aggregated civil bases' - alliances of organisations that come to an electoral arrangement with a party or coalition willing to implement a particular political program in exchange for electoral support.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/15417
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 2103 Historical Studies
Historical > FOR Classification > 1606 Political Science
Keywords Jayaprakash Narayan, Janata Party, India, politics, social movements, democracy
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