This brown bag seminar discussed findings from a survey of 2,500 individuals in all ten districts of the Kashmir Valley conducted during November and December 2015. It examined how violence exposure, India’s rising economic status, and attempts to integrate the region’s population into institutions shape national identification. Violence increases perceived distance from the nation and reduces national identification, particularly among individuals with attributes that otherwise predict higher levels of identification with the state. An increase in national status brought about by economic growth is insufficient to induce national identification when psychological distance from the nation is large. Building a robust national identity among peripheral minorities is a challenge faced by many multi-ethnic countries, and the findings call into question the view that development efforts in the midst of an active conflict can overcome ethnic identification.
Speaker: Gautam Nair, PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science, Yale University
Moderated by: Dr Shamika Ravi, Senior Fellow, Brookings India
The discussion was private, off-the-record and under the Chatham House Rule.