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Elite parties, poor voters: how social services win votes in India

By: Thachil, Tariq.
Series: Cambridge studies in comparative politics. Publisher: Delhi Cambridge University Press India 2014Description: xiv, 331 p.ISBN: 9781107570771.Subject(s): Political science - Economic conditions | Marginality, social - Political aspects - India | Political participation - India | Poor - Political activity - India | Social service - Political aspects - IndiaDDC classification: 324.954 Summary: Why do poor people often vote against their material interests? This puzzle has been famously studied within wealthy Western democracies, yet the fact that the poor voter paradox also routinely manifests within poor countries has remained unexplored. This book studies how this paradox emerged in India, the world's largest democracy. Tariq Thachil shows how arguments from studies of wealthy democracies (such as moral values voting) and the global south (such as patronage or ethnic appeals) cannot explain why poor voters in poor countries support parties that represent elite policy interests. He instead draws on extensive survey data and fieldwork to document a novel strategy through which elite parties can recruit the poor, while retaining the rich. He shows how these parties can win over disadvantaged voters by privately providing them with basic social services via grassroots affiliates. Such outsourcing permits the party itself to continue to represent the policy interests of their privileged base. • Extends the study of why poor citizens vote against their interests to the non-Western world • First book to provide a theory of social services as an electoral strategy, explaining why parties use social services for electoral purposes, how services win votes, and when this strategy succeeds or fails • Offers a comparison of religious parties across a diverse set of cases (India, Egypt, Yemen, and Indonesia) (http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/political-economy/elite-parties-poor-voters-how-social-services-win-votes-india?format=HB)
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Slot 472 (0 Floor, West Wing) Non-fiction 324.954 T4E5 (Browse shelf) Available 189927

contents
1. Introduction
2. An elite party's struggles with poor voters
3. Why rich and poor voters support an elite party in India
4. Why an elite party turned to service
5. How service wins votes
6. When service fails: the impact of rival strategies
7. The argument in comparative perspective
8. Conclusion

Appendix A: variables, sources, and summary statistics
Appendix B: additional tables and figures
Appendix C: supplemental survey information
Appendix D: list of information in online supplement

Why do poor people often vote against their material interests? This puzzle has been famously studied within wealthy Western democracies, yet the fact that the poor voter paradox also routinely manifests within poor countries has remained unexplored. This book studies how this paradox emerged in India, the world's largest democracy. Tariq Thachil shows how arguments from studies of wealthy democracies (such as moral values voting) and the global south (such as patronage or ethnic appeals) cannot explain why poor voters in poor countries support parties that represent elite policy interests. He instead draws on extensive survey data and fieldwork to document a novel strategy through which elite parties can recruit the poor, while retaining the rich. He shows how these parties can win over disadvantaged voters by privately providing them with basic social services via grassroots affiliates. Such outsourcing permits the party itself to continue to represent the policy interests of their privileged base.
• Extends the study of why poor citizens vote against their interests to the non-Western world
• First book to provide a theory of social services as an electoral strategy, explaining why parties use social services for electoral purposes, how services win votes, and when this strategy succeeds or fails
• Offers a comparison of religious parties across a diverse set of cases (India, Egypt, Yemen, and Indonesia)

(http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/political-economy/elite-parties-poor-voters-how-social-services-win-votes-india?format=HB)

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