Policy Engagements and Blogs

Talk on ‘Crony populism’

Neelanjan Sircar

August 21, 2018
21 August 2018
Talk on ‘Crony populism’


Watch the full video (above) of the fourth discussion in the series on the central features of populism and cronyism, and their consequences for economic and social development, featuring Michael Walton and James Crabtree.

Populism has emerged in various forms in many parts of the world in recent years. While it is typically associated with an anti-establishment and anti-elite narrative, it is striking how it often coincides with cronyism – favored  relations between the state and (some) big business.

The talk draws on both an ongoing comparative study of state-business relations in India, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa and secondary literature on the history and contemporary features of cronyism and populism.

Michael Walton teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School, and is a Senior Visiting Fellow at CPR. James Crabtree is a writer, journalist and author living in Singapore. He is currently an associate professor of practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School at the National University of Singapore, and a senior fellow at the school’s Centre on Asia and Globalisation.

The question and answer session that followed can be accessed here.

About the CPR-TCPD Dialogues

This was the fourth event in the CPR-TCPD Dialogues on Indian Politics series, launched in a partnership between Centre for Policy Research and Trivedi Centre for Political Data (TPCD) at Ashoka University. This is a monthly event that brings together academicians, policy and political practitioners, and civil society actors to grapple with important social and political issues in India. It provides a forum for intellectually rigorous, non-partisan commentary to strengthen public discourse on politics in India. In these polarised times, debates on politics in India have tended to be increasingly noisy, blurring the lines between critical engagement and partisan endorsement. This dialogue series is an effort to carve out a space for critical, nuanced engagement to understand the changing dynamics of Indian political parties, the impact of new and emerging social movements and the use of new instruments of mobilisation in our polity.