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Deliberative inequality : a text-as-data study of Tamil Nadu's village assemblies (English)

The resurgence of deliberative institutions in the developing world has prompted a renewed interest in the dynamics of citizen engagement. Using text-as-data methods on an original corpus of village assembly transcripts from rural Tamil Nadu, India, this paper opens the "black box" of deliberation to examine the gendered and status-based patterns of influence. Drawing on normative theories of deliberation, this analysis identifies a set of clear empirical standards for “good” deliberation, based on an individual's ability both to speak and be heard, and uses natural language processing methods to generate these measures. The study first shows that these assemblies are not mere "talking shop" for state officials to bluster and read banal announcements, but rather, provide opportunities for citizens to challenge their elected officials, demand transparency, and provide information about authentic local development needs. Second, the study finds that across multiple measures of deliberative influence, women are at a disadvantage relative to men; women are less likely to speak, set the agenda, and receive a relevant response from state officials. Finally, the paper shows that although quotas for women on village councils have little impact on the likelihood that they speak, they do improve the likelihood that female citizens are heard.

Details

  • Author

    Parthasarathy,Ramya, Rao,Vijayendra, Palaniswamy,Nethra

  • Document Date

    2017/06/27

  • Document Type

    Policy Research Working Paper

  • Report Number

    WPS8119

  • Volume No

    1

  • Total Volume(s)

    1

  • Country

    India,

  • Region

    South Asia,

  • Disclosure Date

    2017/06/27

  • Disclosure Status

    Disclosed

  • Doc Name

    Deliberative inequality : a text-as-data study of Tamil Nadu's village assemblies

  • Keywords

    Housing and Land;Poverty & Inequality;provision of sanitation service;water;survey data;village assembly;natural language processing;environment and sanitation;labor force participation;payment of salary;poverty alleviation program;development research group;data collection process;transfer of responsibility;quality of infrastructure;concerns about corruption;capacity of community;transmission of information;electronic payment system;availability of data;local public good;disadvantage for woman;female genital mutilation;Public Goods;village council;institutional context;community hall;deliberative body;gender quota;political act;citizen engagement;high probability;local development;deliberative democracy;empirical literature;deliberative fora;school headmaster;mutual communication;census data;mutual respect;Equal Opportunity;audio recording;public toilet;social identity;empirical work;demographic data;civic participation;social equality;public expenditure;guarantee scheme;active participant;government funding;citizen participation;Gender Equality;health outcome;summary statistic;rural area;social group;male literacy;government job;physical location;communication styles;rural employment;ration shop;electronic system;descriptive statistic;relative frequency;rural man;infrastructure needs;human history;colonial rule;rural woman;constitutional sanction;local infrastructure;food distribution;exchange information;ordinary citizens;water problem;welfare consequence;census operations;textual analysis;women's issue;village road;constitutional mandate;disadvantaged caste;political process;elderly person;local citizen;town meeting;local politician;temporal variation;participatory development;parliamentary debate;citizen voice;equal weight;rural context;village meeting;neighborhood association;neighborhood governance;observational study;participatory budget;european commission;elected officials;development policy;open access;black box;state official;gender inequalities;collected information;local knowledge;local resident;real time;corruption charge;local woman;toilet facility;poor community;relative performance;bore well;female citizens;story telling;household preference;political culture;previous work;Gender Inequality;crowding out;political science;institutional safeguard;

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Citation

Parthasarathy,Ramya Rao,Vijayendra Palaniswamy,Nethra

Deliberative inequality : a text-as-data study of Tamil Nadu's village assemblies (English). Policy Research working paper,no. WPS 8119 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/582551498568606865/Deliberative-inequality-a-text-as-data-study-of-Tamil-Nadus-village-assemblies