[CPR-CSH Urban Workshop] How Women Mobilise Women into Politics

Event Details

The Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) and the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) are pleased to invite you to an Urban Workshop (n° 114) on:

‘How Women Mobilise Women into Politics: Theory and Natural Experimental Evidence from Urban India’


Tanushree Goyal (University of Oxford)

Tuesday, 30 July 2019, 3:45 onwards

at Centre For Policy Research, conference hall (please not the change in venue)

Dharam Marg, Near NDMC Hospital, Block C, Diplomatic Enclave, Malcha, New Delhi, Delhi 110021

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How does women’s political entry affect citizen’s political involvement? Building on qualitative interviews and extending elite mobilisation theories to account for who conducts grass-roots mobilisation, I argue that female politicians increase women’s numbers in party activist roles, and prospects of cheaply mobilising women provide a strategic incentive to do so. As a result, more women receive mobilising effort, such as door-to-door party contact, where women contest. Women’s entry in activist roles has downstream effects on the quality of mobilisation. When women enter into activist roles, where they were previously absent, they induce competition for these roles and in doing so raise the quality of activist pool. This affects the political involvement, that is, political knowledge and participation, of all citizens. I provide evidence for this argument using original survey data from a natural experiment in Delhi’s Municipal Council, where randomly chosen electoral seats are reserved for women. By outlining how representation affects the calculus of mobilisation, this paper connects the literature on women’s political entry with mobilisation and political involvement.

This paper is part of an ongoing dissertation book project, provisionally titled, ‘The politics of representation: How female politicians make politics inclusive in India’, that examines the consequences of women’s entry through quotas in Delhi’s civic body. Drawing on a natural experiment, extensive fieldwork, interviews, and original survey, combined with insights from a new electoral polling-station level panel dataset, this book proposes to offer new theoretical insights and an empirical account of women’s agency in shaping urban politics and governance in India.



Tanushree Goyal is a third year PhD candidate at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, UK. She specialises in the political economy of development and comparative politics with a geographic focus on South Asia. In her PhD dissertation, she looks at issues of accountability, representation and distribution in India, using quasi- and natural experimental methods supplemented with intensive fieldwork, elite interviews and original data collection. She is specially interested in the politics of Delhi, the city she grew up in and activated her interest in politics. In her recent work, she conducted a field experiment in Delhi and is working on a book project that examines how female politicians shape Delhi politics. To know more about her work, find access to her personal website here.

More info : telle  {dot}  olivier  {at}  gmail  {dot}  com

partha {at} cprindia {dot} org

marie-helene {dot} zerah {at} ird {dot} fr

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