Towards a comparative subnational perspective on India

Jacob, Suraj (2015) Towards a comparative subnational perspective on India. Studies in Indian Politics, 3 (2). pp. 229-246.

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The article surveys the comparative subnational literature on India and suggests some promising paths forward. One, careful selection of sub-state regions can improve the legitimacy of inter-state comparisons and increase the validity of causal claims regarding state-specific governance and political economy. Two, there is greater scope for intra-state comparisons that control for state-specific factors and thereby identify more local, context-specific factors that drive political and other outcomes. Three, the roles and limitations of both causal and non-causal research designs need to be better understood in the subnational context. Four, for serious comparison, it is imperative to explore only a few carefully selected primary units of analysis. While this highlights the importance of the traditional comparative case study approach, the implied qualitative/quantitative dichotomy is false: methods based on inferential statistics can and should be usefully nested in a causal comparative case study framework. Five, greater emphasis on process tracing can improve insights from subnational comparisons.

Item Type: Article
Authors: Jacob, Suraj
Uncontrolled Keywords: sub-state regions, political economy, Subnational comparisons, states, comparative method, research design, process tracing, nested analysis
Subjects: Social sciences > Economics
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Arts and Sciences
Full Text Status: Restricted
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