The persistence of identity

In August 1990, the Prime Minister of India, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, made a historic speech to implement affirmative action to lower castes in central government jobs and higher education -- domains that had long been dominated by upper-castes.  The speech, that came be known as "Mandal", was the start of a profound realignment in Indian … Continue reading The persistence of identity

Colonial Institutions and Long-run Development in India

In my last post  I discussed how elites might weaken bureaucratic institutions in anticipation of losing electoral power, a phenomenon I call ``hollowing out the state.” In this post I want to tackle a more fundamental chicken or egg question: do historic institutions even matter? If we believe institutions matter, then they shape political and … Continue reading Colonial Institutions and Long-run Development in India

Hollowing out the state

I doubt many of us picking out our 2020 American politics bingo cards anticipated a pitched battle over the continued existence of the post office. Or, that the USCIS could run out of funds, essentially halting legal immigration into the country (a more ludicrous aspect of this particular saga is that the USCIS has been … Continue reading Hollowing out the state