Centre for Development Economics,
Delhi School of Economics
Institute of Economic Growth



Clientelism and Ideology: The Rise of Hindu Nationalist Politics in a Former Left Stronghold


Sujata Visaria (Hong Kong University of Science & Technology)

This is joint work by Pushkar Maitra, Sandip Mitra, Dilip Mookherjee & Sujata Visaria.

, 10th December 2021 at 3:30 PM IST.

Across the world, including India, right-wing populism is on the rise. Some have argued this signifies a move away from clientelism toward programmatic politics, where citizens no longer need to use their vote as a tool to access government benefits. We use household panel data from two districts in West Bengal, India to examine if the reduced support for the Communist Party and the rise of the Trinamool Congress and the BJP can be explained by decreased clientelism, increased programmatic benefits, the decline in importance of local versus central government benefits, immigration or economic deprivation.


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