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Democracy and Its Institutions$
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André Béteille

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198080961

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198080961.001.0001

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Government and Opposition

Government and Opposition

(p.33) 2 Government and Opposition
Democracy and Its Institutions

André Béteille

Oxford University Press

The success of democracy rests in large part on both the opposition and the government. In order for democracy to operate successfully, the opposition must be recognized as legitimate and given an institutional form. The emergence of the political party as an institution has played a critical role in shaping the relationship between government and opposition as a distinctive feature of democratic political systems. This chapter discusses the contribution of the party system to the development of a symbiotic relationship between government and opposition, focusing on the case of Britain. It examines the role of the opposition, and the relationship between government and opposition, both within and outside Parliament, in India. It also considers ‘partyless democracy’ in India along with factions and factional politics, party politics, and the importance of trust between government and opposition in strengthening the foundations of democracy.

Keywords:   democracy, opposition, government, political party, party system, Britain, Parliament, politics, trust, factions

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