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Ethnicity, Region and Voting Behaviour in India

shreya Sarawgi
University of Oxford
shreya Sarawgi
University of Oxford
Open Panel

Abstract

This paper develops the concept of region and voting behaviour in India, a rather recent and therefore under researched aspect of Indian politics, and uses survey and census data to examine the relationship between ethnicity, region and vote choice. Recent changes in the party system and the nature of social cleavages, within the institutional setup of federalism, has made it possible for regional demands and aspirations to be expressed at the state level. Using multi-level analysis techniques, contextual factors like diversity, economic inequality and regional consciousness are shown to be powerful predictors of regional differences and the vote choice for regional/region-based parties in India. These relationships are robust to controls for a range of demographic and other factors at the individual level.