Social Justice through Inclusion: The Consequences of Electoral Quotas in India - Modern South Asia by Francesca R. Jensenius
Throughout the world, governments are designing and implementing policies that explicitly promote social justice. But can these institutions change established social norms? What effects should we expect from differently designed…
Social Justice through Inclusion synopsis
Throughout the world, governments are designing and implementing policies that explicitly promote social justice. But can these institutions change established social norms? What effects should we expect from differently designed policies? "Social justice through integration" prepared by Francesca R. Sexinus is a rich empirical study of one of the world's most comprehensive electoral quota systems: seats reserved for Scheduled Communities (SCs, former "untouchables") in India's legislative councils.
Combining evidence from quantitative data sets from the period 1969-2012, archival work, in-depth interviews with politicians, civil servants and voters throughout India, the book explores the long-term effects of electoralquotas on the political elite and population in general. It shows that the quota system has played an important role in reducing class discrimination, especially at the elite level.
Interestingly, this is not due to the fact that the system has led to more collective representation - politicians from SC are working particularly for SC interests - but because it made it possible to create and empower a new elite of SC who gradually became integrated into mainstream politics. This is a study of India, but the results and discussions have wider implications.
Policies such as quotas are often supported by arguments about multiple positive outcomes over the long term. The careful discussions in this book shed light on how the electoralquotas of the SCs constituted incentives for politicians, parties and voters, and referred to the underlying trade-offs in how to design such integration policies..
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