Subnationalism and Social Development in Indian States
What explains the striking divergence in levels of well-being among people across the world? Why are regions, even with roughly equivalent levels of economic development, characterized by such dramatically different levels of social development? In contrast to the existing scholarly emphasis on the role of social democratic parties, the nature of party competition and ethnic homogeneity, this study argues that social outcomes and expenditures are also critically influenced by the strength of identification with the political community. Using a combination of a statistical of all Indian states and a comparative historical analysis, based on archival and ethnographic research, of two provinces, the article demonstrates how the strength of attachment to the subnational community, or subnationalism is a key determinant of the progressiveness of the social policy, which exerts and important influence on social development outcomes.