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Look Inside Why Ethnic Parties Succeed

Why Ethnic Parties Succeed
Patronage and Ethnic Head Counts in India

Part of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

  • Date Published: March 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521891417

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About the Authors
  • Drawing on a study of variation in the performance of four ethnic parties in India, this book develops a theory of ethnic party performance in "patronage democracies"--a family of democracies with distinct patterns of political behavior as well as a new interpretation of Indian democracy. Demonstrating the connection between India's state-dominated economy and the behavior of its voters and politicians, it includes an extensive study of the Bahujan Samaj Party and contemporary ethnic politics in India.

    • A book-length attempt to theorize about the performance of ethnic political parties as a distinct phenomenon
    • Offers an interpretation of Indian democracy, demonstrating the connection between India's state-dominated economy and the behaviour of its voters and politicians
    • A most extensive study on the Bahujan Samaj Party and contemporary ethnic politics in India
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "In explaining why some ethnic parties succeed while others fail, Kanchan Chandra makes an important contribution to our understanding of ethnicity in politics. By highlighting the interaction of group size and internal party rules in a context characterized by the kind of information constraints inherent in patronage democracies, she provides a novel microfoundation for ethnic politics in competitive democracies. In addition, her book sets a new benchmark on how to combine abstract thinking and rich analysis." Stathis N. Kalyvas, Yale University

    "Kanchan Chandra is one of the brightest lights in the new generation of political scholars of India. Chandra's contribution to ethnic studies is her challenge to the pessimistic premise advanced by leading scholars of ethnic politics that ethnic solidarities, unlike class and interest groups, are incompatible with and destructive of democratic processes. In her view competition among ethnic communities can lead to centrism and democratic survival rather than extremism and democratic destruction. She argues her case in game theoretic form while showing a good feel for the nitty gritty of Indian electoral settings." Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, University of Chicago

    "I strongly endorse Chandra's elegant and lucid analysis of India's ethnic political parties. The effective and effortless confluence of area studies and middle range political theory is one of the finest I have seen in recent years." APSA Perspectives on Politics, Subrata K. Mitra

    "To make her case, Chandra skillfully utilizes a plurality of methods...The result is an exemplary analytical narrative; she combines methodological prowess with an ability to tell poignant stories of real actors whose behavior exemplifies the underlying principles of her theory." The Review of Politics, Robert Hislope

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521891417
    • length: 368 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 17 b/w illus. 7 maps 39 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of maps
    figures, and tables
    List of abbreviations
    A note on terminology
    Acknowledgments
    1. Introduction
    Part I. Theory:
    2. Limited information and ethnic categorization
    3. Patronage-democracy, limited information and ethnic favouritism
    4. Counting heads: why ethnic parties succeed in patronage-democracies
    5. Why parties have different ethnic head counts: party organization and elite incorporation
    Part II. Data:
    6. India as a patronage-democracy
    7. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Scheduled Castes (SCs)
    8. Why SC elites join the BSP
    9. Why SC voters prefer the BSP
    10. Why SC voter preferences translate into BSP votes
    11. Explaining different head counts in the BSP and congress
    12. Extending the argument to other ethnic parties in India: the BJP, the DMK and the JMM
    13. Ethnic head counts and democratic stability
    Appendices
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Kanchan Chandra, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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