Adam Ziegfeld

Why Regional Parties? Elites & Party System Formation in India

Today, India’s regional political parties win nearly as many votes as national parties. Why? Why are India’s regional political parties so electorally successful? Explanations for the success of regional parties usually invoke regional grievances, whether ethnic, economic, or both. However, upon closer inspection, surprisingly little evidence is consistent with this approach. In-stead of being thought of as responses to the electorate’s preferences, India’s regional parties ought to conceived of as the products of decisions made by political elites in furtherance of their own interests and ambitions.

Adam Ziegfeld received his PhD in Political Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, after which he was a postdoctoral prize research fellow at Nuffield College at the University of Oxford.