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NICEP Dual Seminar – Diego Canales / Dishil Shrimankar (Nottingham)

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NICEP is delighted hosting a joint seminar as part of the Spring schedule of the seminar series, inviting two University of Nottingham speakers to deliver two separate 30 minute talks – Diego Canales, from the School of Economics, and Dishil Shrimankar from the School of Politics and International Relations. Title and abstract of each talk are listed below below.

Diego Canales will present ‘A model of sequential primary elections: the case of American presidential primaries’

I present a theoretical model to analyse two phenomena surrounding sequential primary elections: momentum and Duverger’s law. Momentum can be defined when a candidate starts the election season with a streak of successful events (polling or election results) in such way that it would guarantee a greater probability of winning the race. On the other hand, our modified version of Duverger’s law asserts that primary candidates tend to quit at earlier stages of the election under plurality rule compared to proportional representation. Our theoretical results will challenge both assertions. Furthermore, I will exploit the dynamic nature of primary elections by using the concept of a Condorcet-winner and k-winners. The k-winner is the alternative that is top-ranked by plurality in every electoral competition composed exactly of a (proper) subset of k candidates.

Dishil Shrimankar will present ‘Nationalist rhetoric and the rise of right-wing party: Evidence from India’

What explains success of right-wing parties in forming broad social coalitions, that transcend their core support base? Existing scholarship has focused on the right-wing populism, social service provision strategy, and threat to higher social-status. Acknowledging the importance of these above explanations, we argue that a hitherto ignored dimension in understanding how right-wing parties expand their support base is the role of the nationalism rhetoric. Threats of externally sponsored acts of aggression or demands for secession have often been used by right-wing parties to evoke nationalist sentiments among voters. They try to convince voters that the nation is under siege and sovereignty is under threat. The portrayal of the right-wing party as the sole guardian of nationalist sentiments helps in mobilizing voters and expanding the support base. This paper attempts to provide an alternate explanation for the expansion of the right-wing – Bharatiya Janata Party in India. We argue that the party’s social expansion can be partly attributed to effective use of the nationalism rhetoric.

We use evidence from individual level panel surveys conducted after the 1996 and 1999 national elections in India, to show that external acts of aggression – the India-Pakistan Kargil war in 1999 immediately prior to elections, heightened nationalist sentiments among the electorate and allowed the BJP to expand its support base. The upsurge in nationalist sentiment post these incidents was not merely ephemeral. The relatively stable change in public opinion on issues related to nationalism broadened the potential support base for the BJP by creating a new pool of cross-class voters who could be mobilized on the issue of nationalism. Our thesis on the electoral impact of such events also differs from the “rally-round-the-flag effect”. Contrary to the rally effect which is essentially in favour of the incumbent, we demonstrate that even challengers can draw electoral benefits from such events if they are able to appeal to the nationalist sentiments of the voters.

Date(s) - 28 Mar 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

B7, The Hemsley