King’s College London: Director of King’s Institute wins Best Article Award

The article studies the post-colonial roots of India’s federalism, a system that combines a strong Central government with shared policy responsibilities between the national and state governments.

It provides an accessible, yet detailed and thorough, history of institutional development in the period leading up to constitutional adoption in 1950. Contrary to existing explanations based on anti-secessionist and pro-democratic goals, the article finds that India’s centralized federalism is also the product of politicians’, industrialists’, and labor leaders’ aim to prevent “race to the bottom” dynamics and boost industrial and welfare state development.

It was an unexpected honour to be awarded this year’s John Kincaid Prize by the APSA federalism section for my Publius article on the origins of centralized federalism in India. Very many thanks to the committee for this recognition.”
– Louise Tillin
Reflecting on the article, the award committed commented: “The strengths of this article lie in the thorough analysis of an understudied topic (the origins of India’s federalism) and the systematic use of archival evidence from Indian and British archives to build a convincing and unexpected argument. The findings challenge and deepen the existing scholarly accounts of the motivating factors behind India’s unique system of federalism.”

The research was supported by a Leverhulme Trust research fellowship, entitled Welfare and Capitalism in India: A Political History.