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Why Representation Matters
The Meaning of Ethnic Quotas in Rural India


  • Date Published: February 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107125926

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About the Authors
  • When members of groups that have long been marginalized finally gain access to political offices, it is expected that the social meaning of belonging to such a group will change and that these psychological changes will have far-reaching behavioral consequences. Supporters of political quotas granting such access often argue that they improve the nature of intergroup relations. However, these presumed psychological effects have remained surprisingly uncharted and untested. Do policies mandating the inclusion of excluded groups in political offices change the intergroup relations? If so, in what ways? By drawing on careful multi-method explorations of a single case - local-level electoral quotas for members of formerly 'untouchable' castes in India - this book provides nuanced, thorough and ultimately optimistic responses to these questions.

    • Provides rich contextual information about local-level institutions in India
    • Will appeal to readers interested in political methodology and in research designs in comparative politics
    • Relies on an innovative and multi-method research strategy
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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107125926
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • contains: 22 b/w illus. 1 map 28 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of tables
    Note on terminology
    1. Political representation and intergroup relations
    2. Untouchability in rural India: persistence and evolution
    3. Local representation in rural India: a view from the ground
    4. Theory: the impact of descriptive representation
    5. Quantitative methodology
    6. The material and tangible effects of descriptive representation
    7. The cognitive impact of descriptive representation
    8. The effects of descriptive representation on interpersonal relations
    9. Descriptive representation and intergroup relations in comparative perspective
    Appendix A. Methodical note on field research
    Appendix B. The pair-matches
    Appendix C. Additional balance tests
    Appendix D. Did members of the scheduled castes self-select into reserved villages?

  • Author

    Simon Chauchard, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
    Simon Chauchard is an assistant professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, where he is a faculty affiliate in the Asia and Middle Eastern Studies program. Recent works have appeared in Political Opinion Quarterly, the American Political Science Review and Comparative Political Studies.

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