SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Axelby, Richard (2023) 'How Gaddi Vote their Identity: political representation, participation, and citizenship in Lower Chamba.' Himalaya, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, 42 (2). pp. 21-35.

Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Download (353kB) | Preview


This article uses decisions about voting, including the decision not to vote, as a prism to consider what it means to be Gaddi in 21st-century Himachal Pradesh (H.P.). While the results of polls can tell us how people voted, they say little about the background to electoral decision-making—the reasoning by which interests, identities, and ideologies are compressed into the simple choice between candidates. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research in rural Chamba district, the article tracks participation in elections for the H.P. State Legislative Assembly and a local Panchayat from 2000 to 2022. The paper concludes by presenting electoral contests as arenas in which the performance of citizenship is entangled with shifting forms of identity combining the social, administrative, and political.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Gaddi, Scheduled Tribe, elections, citizenship, politics
SOAS Departments & Centres: Regional Centres and Institutes > SOAS South Asia Institute
Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
ISSN: 17275210
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2023 14:09
Funders: European Union

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item