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Does Timing Of Elections Instigate Riots? A Subnational Study Of 16 Indian States, 1958 - 2004

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Executive Summary

The authors investigate whether timing of the elections leads to riots or not within India. In other words, does timing of elections instigate riots? The theoretical underpinning is that an incumbent government and opposition parties exercises control over their agents to instigate communal mob violence and riots during the election years. The motto behind instigating riots is that it leads to polarization of voters and thus benefits the respective constituents (incumbent government & opposition parties). Using time series cross-sectional data for 16 major Indian states for the period 1958 - 2004, they find that scheduled elections are associated with increase in riots.

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