Arvind Kumar

I am a PhD scholar at the Department of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy, Royal Holloway, University of London. I have submitted my PhD thesis on Candidate Selection and Voting Behaviour: BJP’s Mobilisation of Marginal Castes in Uttar Pradesh, India. I also hold MPhil in Political Studies and MA in Political Science from the Center for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

I have been Visiting Tutor at the Department of Law and Criminology (2022-2023) and Sessional Hourly Paid Tutor (2021-2022) at the Department of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy, School of Law and Social Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London. I also held position of Guest Lecturer of Political Science (2016-18) at the Department of Political Science, Satyawati College (M), University of Delhi, New Delhi.

I regularly write columns for ThePirnt, IndiaToday, Firstpost, BBC, Dainik Jagran

Current Research

My PhD research explores how India’s right-wing party, the BJP has mobilised marginal caste voters. Based on a mixture of in-depth interviews, statistical analysis of election results and new data collection on the caste background of candidates and voters in Uttar Pradesh, my research shows how the BJP has managed to mobilise politically marginalised castes through strategic nomination of candidates.

My research also investigates how rising inequality in political representation due to surging of candidates’ wealth, communalism, campaign finance and politicisation of news social groups is fueling competition against historically marginalised castes (Dalits) in India.

Recent Publications

1) Kumar, A. (2023). Exclusion of Pasmanda Muslims and Dalit Christians from the Scheduled Caste Quota. Journal of South Asia Research, 43(2).

2) Kumar, A. (2023). Why Are Some Backward Castes Demanding Scheduled Caste Reservation? In S. Pai, D. Babu, & R. Verma (Eds.), Dalits in the New Millennium (pp. 394-413). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781009231220.022.

Areas of Study

Election, Candidate Selection, Voting Behaviour, Party System, Caste/Ethnic Inequality, Representation, Social Justice, Mixed Method, Judicial Politics, South Asian Politics