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India's non-liberal democracy and the discourse of democracy promotion
Published in
Volume: 19
Issue: 1
Pages: 33 - 59
Emphasis on democracy in Indian and international perspectives on India's foreign policy has grown over the past decade. Claiming that India is a 'successful' example of a non-Western liberal democracy, these perspectives prescribe a role for India in international democratisation efforts. The keener among these suggests that India must participate in Western-style, or Western initiatives of, democracy promotion. This article offers a critique of these prescriptions. Recent theorisations of India's democratic practices argue that India is a predominantly non-liberal democracy. Drawing upon these theorisations, this article outlines the non-liberal features inherent in the practices of Indian democracy. It also outlines the democratic processes that restrain India's foreign policy from acquiring an other-regarding orientation. Contesting the characterisations of India as a liberal democracy, this article questions the basis on which the calls for India to participate in liberal democracy promotion projects are made.
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