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Mobilizing the MarginalizedEthnic Parties without Ethnic Movements$
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Amit Ahuja

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190916428

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190916428.001.0001

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How Mobilization Type Shapes Dalit Welfare

How Mobilization Type Shapes Dalit Welfare

(p.153) 7 How Mobilization Type Shapes Dalit Welfare
Mobilizing the Marginalized

Amit Ahuja

Oxford University Press

When the social mobilization and electoral mobilization of the marginalized occur, they represent their political assertion. Why, then, should we care about the type of collective action that mobilizes the marginalized? This chapter argues that variation in welfare provision at the state level turns on a distinction in types of mobilization. When Dalits act collectively as a bloc, this has different consequences for the social sphere as compared to the electoral sphere. In the social sphere, bloc behavior articulates demands, pressurizes bureaucrats and politicians, and monitors the quality of goods and services provided by the state. Democratic accountability is increased. In the electoral sphere, however, bloc behavior has two especially negative effects. First, it transforms Dalits into weak clients, and second, it increases the probability welfare schemes will be disrupted or dismantled with electoral transfers of power. Democratic accountability is decreased.

Keywords:   public services, welfare, social mobilization, poor, marginalized groups, public policy continuity, weak clients, democratic accountability, captive vote bloc, political competition

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