Why No Coups in India? Explaining India’s Post-Independence Success in Managing its Military


Thursday, November 5, 2015, 4:10pm to 5:30pm


Ash Center, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, Mass

At Independence, India and Pakistan, like many other colonial states, inherited militaries that were conservative, ethnically unrepresentative, and seemed to pose a threat to democracy. Steven Wilkinson, Chair of the Department of Political Science at Yale, explores the ways in which India has been able to successfully handle these tensions, while Pakistan has not.

Speaker: Steve Wilkinson, Nilekani Professor of India & South Asian Studies; Chair, Department of Political Science, Yale University 


Moderator: Tarek Masoud, Sultan of Oman Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School


This event is part of the Comparative Democracy Seminar Series. 

Steven I. Wilkinson is Nilekani Professor of India and South Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Yale University, where he also chairs the Political Science department. He has worked on the causes of ethnic violence, and his book, Votes and Violence: electoral competition and ethnic riots in India (Cambridge, 2004), examines the political roots of communal conflict in South Asia. He is also interested in corruption in politics, and co-edited the book Patrons, Clients or Politics: Patterns of Political Accountability and Competition (Cambridge, 2007) with Herbert Kitschelt. His most recent book is Army and Nation, which came out in January 2015 from Harvard University Press (Permanent Black in South Asia), and examines India’s success in managing the imbalanced colonial army it inherited in 1947.

 He is currently working with Saumitra Jha (Stanford GSB) on a book on War and Political Change, the first part of which, on the role of veterans in the partition of India, was published in December 2012 in the American Political Science Review. The next part of this project looks at the role of returned veterans from the American war of Independence in the French Revolution. 

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