Inequality has long been widely and rightly seen as one of the greatest threats to democracy. For political scientists, the most lethal kind of inequality for democracy is some form of economic inequality. In this project, I adopt a more historical and ideological approach to the question of how inequality threatens democracy. Specifically, focusing on twentieth-century post-colonial contexts, I argue that inequalities of citizenship that are historically grounded in founding narratives of nationalism are also detrimental to a country’s democratic prospects across time.
Maya Tudor is Associate Professor in Politics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. Her research investigates the historical origins of stable, democratic and effective states across the developing world, with a particular emphasis upon South Asia. She was educated at Stanford University (BA in Economics) and Princeton University (MPA in Development Studies and PhD in Politics and Public Policy). She has held fellowships at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Oxford University’s Centre for the Study of Inequality and Democracy and currently, at Stanford University's Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. She is the author of “The Promise of Power: The Origins of Democracy in India and Autocracy in Pakistan.” She is currently writing a comparative study of nationalisms and democracy.