Political parties and social movements in Indian and EU law of democracy

This talk provides an overview of some key mechanisms, in which law structures two important sites of contestation, organization and political representation in India and in the EU, social movements and political parties. Two key insights emerge: First, legal rules are in many ways similar in both systems, seeking to enforce a certain degree of ideological homogeneity with regard to political parties but remaining ultimately largely symbolic. In both systems, we see civil society organizations as one driver of political and social reform through strategic litigation. Secondly, the underlying narratives are nevertheless different. European party regulation works largely by offering financial incentives, thus mirroring ultimately the functionalism of European constitutionalism it was meant to help overcome. In contrast, the revolutionary character of India’s founding continues to shape the grammar of Indian politics and law.