Regionalism and Tribal Insecurity in India
85 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2018 Last revised: 8 Apr 2021
Date Written: March 21, 2021
Observers have long been ambivalent about democratic representation by parties with a regionalist orientation. We estimate the causal effect of regionalist party representation on political violence in India and find regionalist parties who win power cause local violence, but not through increased conflict with the Center. Rather, successful regionalists tend to favor local ethnic majorities, causing heightened uncertainty for local minority groups. In particular, we show that the increased violence is explained entirely by electoral constituencies with significant tribal populations but no mandated political representation for tribes, and that regionalist parties further decrease local tribal persons' reported consumption of television and radio, cultural goods, and wages. Our results imply representation by local majorities further relegates local tribal minorities to the margins of society, and that they in turn respond with organized political violence.
Keywords: Regionalism, Political Violence, Civil Conflict, Elections, Tribal Populations.
JEL Classification: D74, H19, H77, P48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation