Emotions and sentiments are central to explanations of how actual living democracies work, that is, the sustaining and reconfiguring of practices, relations and common-senses that constitute them. Elections are moments of heightened emotions, when democracy breathes life into the streets and pulses through people's veins. While studies in anthropology and political science have shed light on the ways that voters are recruited by and experience the passionate and sensuous elements of elections, and democracies more broadly, the emotions of candidates and the politicians they become have largely escaped scrutiny. The value of an emotionally attuned reading of elections is demonstrated through the narratives of women candidates in Dehradun's municipal elections in North India. The ways candidates feel, and in the process make democracy, illuminate unrecognised factors in the shaping of the political.
|Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology
|Published - 2020