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While politics in Western liberal democracies revolves around a left-right spectrum, Indian politics is often characterized as non-ideological. In a new book, Ideology and Identity: The Changing Party Systems of India, Pradeep K. Chhibber and Rahul Verma argue that ideology does matter in Indian politics—but just not in the way we think. Verma will outline how two factors—statism and recognition—shape political debate in India and will determine how the country’s 2019 general elections unfold. Carnegie’s Milan Vaishnav will join him in conversation.

Rahul Verma

Rahul Verma is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the co-author of Ideology and Identity: The Changing Party Systems of India and a regular contributor to several Indian publications.

Milan Vaishnav

Milan Vaishnav is a senior fellow and director of the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he leads Carnegie’s India Elects 2019 initiative.

In the months ahead, Carnegie scholars will analyze various dimensions of India’s upcoming election battle—including coalition dynamics, the shifting demographic trends in the country’s electorate, and the impact of elections on India’s foreign policy. Keep up to date at CarnegieEndowment.org/IndiaElects2019.