Democratic Participation

Watery Tea: A Novel Way to Measure the Influence of a Protest Movement

Watery Tea: A Novel Way to Measure the Influence of a Protest Movement

December 21, 2013

From the Print Edition - The Economist
HOW influential is the Tea Party? The anti-tax protests that erupted in 2009 have long since been hijacked by every right-wing group with the wit to add the words “Tea Party” to its letterhead. But new research suggests that the people whom left-wing pundits once dismissed as “teabaggers” made a big difference in the mid-term elections of 2010, when Republicans recaptured the House of Representatives.

Political protests change behavior, says study

Political protests change behavior, says study

October 24, 2013

The Harvard Crimson
By Quynh-Nhu Le
Political protests do not just show changing political preferences, but can actually cause political views and behaviors to change, according to a new research paper co-authored by assistant professors at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The researchers collated data on the first major Tea Party protests in April 2009 to conclude that initial attendance at the rallies impacted how conservatively citizens and elected officials voted afterwards.

Political strength will force the issue

Political strength will force the issue

January 10, 2013

The New York Times
By Nilanjana S. Roy
In the chaotic chorus of women’s voices that rose up in Delhi over the protests of the last few weeks, two demands stood out. One was for “justice,” which could mean either the justice of the courts, or the justice of the mob, and the other was for "azaadi," or freedom.

One of the first times that Indian women claimed that freedom was during the nascent movement for the country’s independence; they marched with Mahatma Gandhi, filled the jails alongside the men, and took an active part in the legislative assemblies.

Identity Politics vs Development Politics

Identity Politics vs Development Politics

March 7, 2012

Wall Street Journal
By Rupa Subramanya
As the dust settles on the state-assembly elections, the most striking feature in the country’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, appears to be the persistent electoral power of identity and caste-based politics.

Contrast this with the 2010 assembly elections in Bihar, when the post-mortem analysis focused on the success of a development-oriented political campaign which re-elected Nitish Kumar as chief minister.

Will caste be the future of politics?

Will caste be the future of politics?

April 4, 2009

Hindustan Times
by Abhijit V. Banerjee, Rohini Pande & Felix Su
The Congress party is in shock, and understandably so. It has just been told by two of its closest allies that its support isn’t worth a handful of seats in the two largest states in India. Worse still for the Congress, the two Mr. Yadavs—canny operators both—have probably called it right. In the short term, the RJD and SP stand to lose less from “friendly” competition from Congress in their states than by conceding the few seats that the Congress was asking.