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Does Clientelism Work?

Mark Schneider

CASI has just published a working paper titled “Does Clientelism Work? A Test of Guessability in India,” written by Mark Schneider, a doctoral candidate in Political Science at Columbia University.

Central to the literature on clientelism is the assumption that low-level politicians are able to act as “brokers” between voters and higher-level politicians because they possess invaluable information on the partisan preferences in their area. These brokers are believed to be able to monitor votes and efficiently target benefits on a quid pro quo basis in their area because they possess fine-grained information about voters. In the working paper, Schneider challenges this assumption and introduces a behavioral measure- guessability– to test the degree to which local political elites (the “brokers”) can guess the partisan preferences of locals in their constituency. Based on data collected from nearly 1,000 voters and 100 sarpanches in seven districts throughout Rajasthan, Schneider’s research is a must-read for anyone who studies clientelism and targeted distribution in politics.

Read “Does Clientelism Work? A Test of Guessability in India”

Visit the author’s website and follow him on Twitter @schneidertime


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Western anti-capitalists take too much for granted

Dr. Devesh Kapur, Director of CASI
Dr. Devesh Kapur

In a recent opinion article in Financial Times, “Western anti-capitalists take too much for granted”, CASI Director Devesh Kapur argues that capitalism’s discontents should look to India for an example of the empancipatory power of capitalist economic growth.BpX2xiFCYAA3VDI

The article comes after the launch of CASI’s newest publication, Defying the Odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs, written by Kapur with D. Shyam Babu and Chandra Bhan Prasad, CASI research affiliates and former CASI Visiting Scholars.The book project was made possible through a multi-year research grant on Dalit Entrepreneurship from the John Templeton Foundation. The book was launched this month and is available in India through Random House India. Read More.

Order your copy through Flipkart and or Amazon.


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Random House India Launches CASI’s Dalit Entrepreneur Book in Delhi

Defying the Odds book coverOn July 19 at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi, Random House India will launch the book, Defying the Odds: The Rise of the Dalit Entrepreneurs with authors – Devesh Kapur, CASI Director, and D. Shyam Babu and Chandra Bhan Prasad, who are both CASI research affiliates and former CASI Visiting Scholars. A panel discussion with the authors will include T. N. Ninan, Chairman, Business Standard, Rajiv Lall, Executive Chairman, IDFC, Milind Kamble, Chairman, Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI), and moderated by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President, Centre for Policy Research.

This book project was funded by a multi-year grant awarded to CASI from the John Templeton Foundation.

Defying the Odds is about the new Dalit identity. It profiles the phenomenal rise of twenty-one Dalit entrepreneurs, the few who through a combination of grit, ambition, drive and hustle—and some luck—have managed to break through social, economic and practical barriers. It illustrates instances where adversity compensated for disadvantage, where working their way up from the bottom instilled in Dalit entrepreneurs a much greater resilience as well as a willingness to seize opportunities in sectors and locations eschewed by more privileged business groups.

Traditional Dalit narratives are marked by struggle for identity, rights, equality and for inclusion. These inspiring stories capture both the difficulty of their circumstances as well as their extraordinary steadfastness, while bringing to light the possibilities of entrepreneurship as a tool of social empowerment.

The book project was made possible by a multi-year research grant on Dalit Entrepreneurship CASI was awarded from the John Templeton Foundation.

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