In India, the world’s largest democracy, as many as a third of elected politicians are under criminal indictment. Carnegie Senior Fellow Milan Vaishnav discusses his groundbreaking new book, When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics, which takes readers deep into the marketplace for criminal politicians. Drawing on fieldwork from the campaign trail, large surveys, and unprecedented data on politicians’ criminal records, Vaishnav discusses his findings on the inner-workings of democracy’s underbelly, and how his work might illuminate the current U.S. political climate.

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Milan Vaishnav