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IIDS WEBINAR SERIES : Episode-02

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We are pleased to announce the IIDS WEBINAR SERIES on Politics, Economy and Public Policy.

Each episode of the webinar will be conducted on the first Monday of every month from 5.45 PM (NPT), 7.00 AM (ET).

The series will be moderated by our Distinguished Adjunct Fellow, Dr. Avidit Acharya, Associate Professor of Political Science at Stanford University.

The first episode concluded on December 7, 2020 by Prof. Alok Bohara, Professor of Economics at University of New Mexico and also a Distinguished Adjunct Fellow at IIDS. He presented his paper on Science, Technology, Society, and the Environment: An empirical study of the urban environment and its impact on human health.

The second episode is scheduled for January 4, 2021 by Dr. Soledad Prillaman, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. She will be presenting her paper on Does Revolution Work: Post revolutionary evolution of Nepal's political classes, co-authored with Bhishma Busal, Michael Callen, Saad Gulzar, Rohini Pande, and Deepak Singhania.

In 2015, after a decade-long conflict and nine years of negotiation, Nepal promulgated a constitution that replaced its 240-year-old monarchy by a federal republic. The subsequent 2017 local elections ushered more than 30,000 first-time politicians into office. Using a census of 3.68million Nepalis (2.56 million of whom are of voting age) covering eleven districts, party nomination lists and party candidate selection committee surveys, electoral data and informationon conflict incidence, we document that castes that were historically excluded from politicalrepresentation achieved representation without a significant representation-ability trade-off: improved social representation among politicians is accompanied by positive selection on education and income. Triangulating across multiple data sources, we show that the entry of the revolutionary Maoist group as a post-conflict mainstream party played an important role. Finally, political representation of non-elite castes improved their policy inclusion as measured by individual access to earthquake reconstruction transfers. These gains, however, vary with the extent of social connections to the elected mayor and point to a continuing need to balance power by supporting institutions that provide all citizens political voice.

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