On April 4th, 2023 Pavithra Suryanarayan of the London School of Economics presented her paper ‘When Losing The State Drives Opposition to Redistribution: An Experiment in India”  (joint work with Simon Chauchard, University Carlos III Madrid)’ to the Global Diversity Lab. In this paper, they argue that “who” controls the state is a salient issue for groups that have historically used the state to maintain their group’s social dominance. In ranked societies, losing the state presents a peril: that the state not only redistributes, but also undertakes social integration of the traditionally privileged community with other lower-ranked groups. Changes to the composition of groups within the bureaucracy will be associated with changes in group support for government-led redistribution as both wealthy and poor members of high rank groups turn mistrustful of the state. They test their claims using a survey-experiment in the Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and their results suggest that socially dominant groups respond to a loss of control of the state by turning anti-redistributive.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: