Why do Indian voters knowingly vote for politicians with pending criminal proceedings against them? Why do political parties recruit criminal politicians among their rank and file? If money and muscle do not mean the failure of democracy, but instead are how things work under certain circumstances, then what are the remedies against the growing prevalence of criminal politicians? In When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics (Yale University Press, 2017), Milan Vaishnav provides an incisive analysis, based on solid data, of what he terms the marketplace for politics which creates a demand for candidates with dubious credentials.

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This podcast was originally published by New Books Network.