Regionalism and Tribal Insecurity in India
64 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2018 Last revised: 21 Aug 2020
Date Written: August 22, 2020
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 that regionalist parties that 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 effect is explained entirely by electoral constituencies with significant tribal populations who have no mandated political representation, and that regionalist parties decrease local tribal persons' reported consumption of television and radio, cultural goods, and wages. Our results suggest that culturally and economically insecure tribal minorities respond to representation by local majorities with organized political violence.
Keywords: Regionalism, Political Violence, Civil Conflict, Elections, Tribal Populations.
JEL Classification: D74, H19, H77, P48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation