Studying India’s Democracy with Data
An Ashoka University online course for high-school students.
About The Course
There is today more data available than ever to study the functioning of India’s democracy. At the same time, there remains vast gaps in what we ought to know to study politics empirically. As a result, we tend to over-emphasise certain aspects of politics that are well documented – electoral outcomes, party performance – while neglecting others for which we don’t have the same level of granular understanding, such as the link between economic factors and elections. In this course, we will look at different ways of using data to think critically about Indian Politics. We will see that data merely helps us ask relevant questions and usually does not provide the information we need to answer them. We will learn that a data-driven approach to studying India’s democracy requires connecting empirical evidence with both context and theory, which we will do through themes and examples, including the study of the determinants of electoral behaviour, politicians’ careers, women’s participation in politics and the effectiveness of reservations.
Apply for Horizons Summer 2022
As Co-Director of the Trivedi Centre for Political Data, Gilles leads a number of research projects and data building efforts on contemporary Indian politics.
Gilles completed his B.A in Economics, Social and Political Sciences from the University of St. Louis, Brussels in 2000. He earned his M.A. in Political and Social Sciences with a specialization in International Relations from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), Belgium in 2004. He is a graduate from the Hoover Chair in Social and Economical Ethics, UCL. He completed his M.Phil in Comparative Politics and Societies with a specialization in Asia from Sciences Po in 2005. He completed his Ph.D. in Political Science from Sciences Po, affiliated with the Centre for International Research and Studies (CERI), Sciences Po. He is an Associate Researcher at the Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, and is a Non-Resident Visiting Scholar at the Centre for the Advanced Study of India (CASI), University of Pennsylvania.