Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Does Citizenship Abate Class in Bangalore, India? A working paper by Ashutosh Varshney and Patrick Heller

November 29, 2016

The following is the abstract of Ashutosh Varshney and Patrick Heller’s working paper “Does Citizenship Abate Class? Evidence and Reflections from Bangalore, India.”
Read the full paper here.

Drawing on data from a large household survey in Bangalore, this paper explores the quality of urban citizenship. Addressing theories that have tied the depth of democracy to the quality and effectiveness of citizenship, we develop an index of citizenship that includes various measures and then explore the extent to which citizenship determines the quality of services and infrastructure that households enjoy. Our findings show that citizenship and access to services in Bangalore are highly differentiated, that much of what drives these differences has to do with class, but we also find clear evidence that the urban poor are somewhat better in terms of the services they receive that they would be without citizenship. Citizenship, in other words, abates the effects of class.