Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Adam Ziegfeld – Why Regional Parties? Clientelism, Elites, and the Indian Party System

Friday, February 5, 2016

2 p.m.

Harvard University, K354, CGIS Knafel, 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

Adam Ziegfeld was an undergraduate at Dartmouth College and received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, and was also a visiting professor at Beloit College. He currently works as an assistant professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the George Washington University.

His research focuses on democratic politics in the developing world, and he is particularly interested in understanding why political parties thrive or fail, why political competition varies from one place to another, why voters make the decisions that they do (especially in contexts where political parties are not very ideological or policy-oriented), and what kinds of factors matter to voters on election day. He examines these questions primarily in India.

Adam Ziegfeld is the author of Why Regional Parties? Clientelism, Elites, and the Indian Party System, which explains the extraordinary success of regional political parties in India, pointing to the importance of clientelism, coalition government, and elite factional alignments to explain why, when, and where regional parties are electorally successful in India. His research has been supported by the British Academy, Oxford's John Fell OUP Research Fund, MIT's Center for International Studies, the National Security Education Program, and George Washington University, including the Sigur Center for Asian Studies. ​

The Brown-Harvard-MIT Joint Seminar on South Asian Politics approaches some of the big questions of politics, political economy and security, on which the South Asian region in general, and India in particular, offers engaging perspectives. Read more at southasianpolitics.net

More Information

South Asian Studies
Center for Contemporary South Asia