Political Systems and Issues: India (L2093)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

Politics and governance concentrates on the relationship between political institutions and the wider society. This module looks at the ability of institutions such as structures of governance, bureaucracies and political parties to adapt to changing circumstances, and respond to demands from interest groups while dealing with the ongoing pressures of social and economic development in India. 

The module will be divided into two main parts. The first part will deal with India's political history and independence with a focus on analysing the institutional mechanisms of governance in the country. We will look at the design of the Indian constitution at independence, examining its key features such as

  • federalism
  • secularism
  • the choice of political and electoral system.

The module will also examine and evaluate how key constitutional features have functioned in India to support governance and its democracy. We analyse the evolution of the party system in India focusing on its key features, attributes, determinants and the linkages between the national and the sub-national party systems. 

The second part of the module will analyse the key instruments of governance in India:

  • the legislatures
  • bureaucracy
  • judiciary
  • army
  • the election commission.

We will examine the ability of these institutions to support governance in a highly complex political and social environment. The focus will be on the relationship between politics and economy, politics and society, and politics and conflict. 

The module primarily uses an empirical approach but also presents relevant theoretical constructs and some comparative analysis to provide you with a rich insight into the politics of governance in India.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: