New Books Network

Milan Vaishnav

When Crime Pays

Money and Muscle in Indian Politics

Yale University Press 2017

New Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in South Asian StudiesNew Books Network May 9, 2018 Julia Perczel

Why do Indian voters knowingly vote for politicians with pending criminal proceedings against them? Why do political parties recruit criminal politicians among their rank...

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.


Julia Perczel is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Manchester.