About the Speaker:
Adam Ziegfeld is the International Council Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at The George Washington University. His research focuses on political parties and elections, primarily in India. He is the author of Why Regional Parties? Clientelism,Elites, and the Indian Party System (Cambridge University Press, 2016). His research on dominant political parties, coalition politics, and electoral rules has been published in a variety of journals including Comparative Politics, Electoral Studies, and Party Politics. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
About the Lecture:
Today, regional parties in India win nearly as many votes as national parties. In Why Regional Parties? Adam Ziegfeld questions the conventional wisdom that regional parties in India are electorally successful because they harness popular grievances and benefit from strong regional identities. Rather, in democracies where patronage, vote buying, and electoral handouts are common, regional parties are successful because they represent expedient options for office-seeking politicians.