2016 Chr. Michelsen Prize Lecture by Francesca Jensenius: “Can Electoral Quotas Advance Social Justice – and How Do We Know?”

JenseniusThis lecture is based on the work that won Francesca Refsum Jensenius the 2016 Chr. Michelsen Price for the best work in development studies. The material is part of Social Justice through Inclusion: The Consequences of Electoral Quotas in India (forthcoming with Oxford University Press), her book manuscript about the longest-standing electoral quota systems in the world: The reserved seats for the Scheduled Castes (SCs, Dalits, India’s former `untouchables’) in India’s state assemblies. In this book, she combines evidence from various quantitative datasets from the period 1971–2007, archival work, and in-depth interviews with politicians, civil servants and voters across India in 2010 and 2011, to explore the effects of this extensive quota system, how the impact has changed over time, and how the various consequences relate to each other.

Jensenius argues that the institutional design of the quota system has played an important role in incentivizing the integration of SCs into all the main political parties, while at the same time prevented the emergence of group representatives — understood as SC politicians acting for the interest of their group. In this lecture she will talk about key findings from the book, with a focus on how the institutional design of this quota policy both shapes its effects and can help us study these effects empirically.

See the lecture here:


And the foliowing debate on law & inequality with Lise Rakner, Carl Henrik Knudsen and Theodoros Rakopoulos  :


See event on Facebook here!

Francesca Refsum Jensenius is Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), specializing in comparative politics, comparative political economy and research methods, with a regional focus on South Asia and Latin America. Her main research interest is how electoral dynamics and institutional design affect different types of inequality in society. This she pursues through a multi-method approach, combining large-scale data collection and analysis with extensive field work. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California Berkeley (2013). Previously she studied political science and Hindi at Duke University, Delhi University and the University of Oslo.