Mobilizing the marginalized (2019)

ethnic parties without ethnic movements

in: Oxford scholarship online

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In India, a young democratic system has undermined the legitimacy of a 2000 year old social system that excluded and humiliated an entire people by treating them as untouchables. This incomplete, but irreversible change in Indian society and politics has been authored by the mobilization of some of the most marginalized citizens in the world and counts as one of the most significant achievements of Indian democracy. This work presents evidence showing that a marginalized group gains more from participating in a social movement and dividing support among parties than from voting en bloc for an ethnic party.