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Can Political Criminality Coexist With Democracy?

Chatham House, London


Milan Vaishnav, Senior Fellow South Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Author, When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics
Dr Louise Tillin, Deputy Director, King’s India Institute, King's College London
Chair: Dr Gareth Price, Senior Research Fellow, Asia Programme, Chatham House


The nexus between crime and politics raises complex questions. Using the world’s largest democracy, India, as a case study - where many as a third of elected politicians are under criminal indictment - this event will explore if free and fair elections can indeed coexist with criminality.

Do political parties knowingly recruit candidates with accusations of wrongdoing against them? And why do voters elect - and often re-elect - such candidates? Our panel will evaluate what this means for democracy both within India and beyond.