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Social Justice through InclusionThe Consequences of Electoral Quotas in India$
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Francesca R. Jensenius

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190646608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190646608.001.0001

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Quotas and Political Participation

Quotas and Political Participation

(p.130) Chapter 6 Quotas and Political Participation
Social Justice through Inclusion

Francesca R. Jensenius

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 examines changes in political participation among voters, focusing on a key indicator in the study of democracies: electoral turnout. Data on state election outcomes between 1974 and 2007 show that turnout plummeted in the first election after constituencies became reserved in the 1970s. Gradually, there was a narrowing gap in voter turnout between SC-reserved and nonreserved constituencies, but after more than 30 years there was still a difference of several percentage points. Exploring the reasons, the chapter shows that this variation in political participation it was not mainly due to caste bias, or feelings of being disempowered, but rather because of the weaker networks and mobilizational capacity of SC politicians. As the political experience and mobilizational capacity of SC politicians has increased, so has voter turnout.

Keywords:   Scheduled Castes, Dalits, India, quotas, reservations, electoral turnout, political participation, caste bias, National Election Studies

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