Regionalism and Tribal Insecurity in India
86 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2018 Last revised: 4 Mar 2022
Date Written: June 18, 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 nd 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. Further, we nd that regionalist parties 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