Regionalism and Tribal Insecurity in India

86 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2018 Last revised: 4 Mar 2022

See all articles by Sacha Kapoor

Sacha Kapoor

Erasmus University Rotterdam; Erasmus University Rotterdam

Arvind Magesan

University of Calgary

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 signi ficant 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

Kapoor, Sacha and Magesan, Arvind, Regionalism and Tribal Insecurity in India (June 18, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Sacha Kapoor

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam


Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam


Arvind Magesan (Contact Author)

University of Calgary ( email )

2500 University DR NW
Calgary, AB

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