Party System Regionalization, Socioeconomic Outcomes, and Ethnic Conflicts in India



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The question that how party system regionalization impacts economic, human development outcomes and ethnic conflicts in India has been unexplored despite its significant effect on political representation and redistribution. This dissertation aims to address this question. I show that regionalization promotes economic development, improves human capital and reduces ethnic conflicts in the Indian states. Regionalization mitigates the conditions (political exclusion and underdevelopment) under which ethnic groups rebel against the government. Regionalization increases political representation of regional ethnic groups in the parliament. Regionalized states are more likely to be influential in the national coalition governments. State parties from the regionalized states demand additional federal transfers to their states. The additional federal transfers lead to improvement in human capital and economic development. Regionalization also facilitates effective implementation of social welfare programs. Regionalization, by facilitating local leaders to be in power, increases efficiency of public good delivery and preference-matching. Regionalization also reduces administrative burdens that arise from multi-layer government. I examine the effect of party system regionalization on economic development, federal transfers, human development indicators and ethnic rebellion in different chapters. The findings support my arguments.

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Party system regionalization, Ethnic conflicts, India