ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Steven I WilkinsonSubscribe to Steven I Wilkinson

Communal Riots in India

Communal Riots in India STEVEN I WILKINSON What causes communal riots in contemporary India? In my book Votes and Violence (2005), I argue that politicians both cause them and, more importantly, have the power to prevent them, through their control of the state governments responsible for law and order.1 Riots in India, I argue, are the product of incentives at the local level and the state level. At the local level, I argue that the most important cause of riots is the intensity of electoral competition. Where political competition is most intense,

Putting Gujarat in Perspective

Overshadowed by the recent horrific events in Gujarat is a wider shift in Indian politics that is likely to reduce the country's level of communal violence: growing party competition in the states increases the incentives for politicians to offer minorities protection in return for their political support. High levels of party competition have long been effective in reducing violence for this reason in southern states such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The rise elsewhere in India of parties such as the BSP and SP also creates intense competition for Muslim votes, which in turn leads to politicians promising - and delivering - greater security for minorities.

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