The Regional Roots of Developmental Politics in India

The Regional Roots of Developmental Politics in India : A Divided Leviathan

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India is widely regarded as the most celebrated case of a "failed" developmental state, seemingly the exception that belies the prediction of a triumphant Asian century. Its central political and economic institutions have been variously characterized as both "soft" and "strong"-at once weak, predatory, and interventionist. Aseema Sinha presents an innovative model that questions conventional views of economic development by showing that the Indian state is a divided leviathan: its developmental failure is the combined product of central-local interactions and political choices by regional elites. To develop this disaggregated model, she examines three regional states with sharply divergent development trajectories: Gujarat, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu. Drawing on recent work in comparative political economy, the theory of nested games, incentive theory, and an ethnographic analysis of business actors, this study directs analytical attention at the creation of micro-institutions at the subnational level, explores the role of provinces in shaping investment flows, and considers the role of federalism as a mediating institution shaping the vertical strategies of provinces. A comparative chapter applies the model to data from China, Brazil, Russia, and the former Soviet Union.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 154.9 x 233.7 x 25.4mm | 544.32g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 11 figures, 4 maps, 1 index
  • 0253216818
  • 9780253216816
  • 2,141,484

Table of contents

List of Tables, Figures, and Maps
A Note on Terminology
List of Abbreviations
Part One. Introduction and Theoretical Framework
1. The Puzzle of Developmental Failure and Success
The Puzzle of India's Developmental State
Unpacking Developmental States: A Multilevel Framework
Applying the Framework to India
Globalization in India (19912004)
Infranational Comparisons and Comparative Politics
Plan of the Book
2. A Theory of Polycentric Hierarchy
India and Comparative Politics
A Theory of a Multilevel Hierarchy: Territory, Divided Government, and Nested Games
Business Responses and Investor Behavior in a Dirigiste but Multilevel State
Design of Study: Selection of Cases
Part Two. National-Level Analysis
3. Disaggregating the Central State
Regional Variation in Large-Scale Investment
A Competing Political Explanation: Central Discrimination
An Alternative Institutionalist Explanation: The Central State Designed to Fail
Political Economy of the Divided State
Liberalization and the Central State in India
Part Three. Subnational Variation Mapped
4. Regional Strategies toward the Dirigiste State
Bureaucratic Developmentalism in Gujarat
West Bengal: The Strategy of Partisan Confrontation
Mixed Vertical Strategy in Tamil Nadu: Anti-Center Mobilization (196777) and Opportunistic Alliance Formation (1980s)
The Phase of Anti-Center Strategy
Alliance Formation and Opportunistic Bargaining with the Center
Vertical Interactions in Pre-1991 India
Vertical Interactions in Post-1991 India
5. The Subnational State as a Developmental Actor
Why Are Regional Institutions Important, and How Do They Matter?
Developmental Strategies in Indian Regional States
Institutional Capacities in India's Regions
Sticky Institutions in West Bengal, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu after 1991: A Comparative Institutional Analysis
6. Divided Loyalties: The Regional Politics of Divergence
Gujarat: The Roots of Classic Competitive Capitalism
West Bengal: Politics of Vertical Confrontation and Regional Protection
Tamil Nadu: Cultural Subnationalism and Industrialization
7. Weapons of the Strong: Business Responses in the Regions
Business Responses to Licensing
State-Level Entry Costs
Incentives versus Infrastructure: Corporate Responses
Institutional Credibility
Micro-Regulatory Costs at the State Level
Part Four. India in Comparative Perspective
8. Comparative Extensions
A Comparative Theory of Developmental Failure and Success
Applying the Theory to Other Cases
The Impact of Size and Territorial Differentiation on Central Rulers (Proposition IV)
Comparing China with Democratic India and Democratic Brazil: Does Democracy Matter?
9. Conclusion: Regional Landscapes and Economic Development in Dirigiste States
Lessons from Subnational Pathways in India
National Political Institutions and Regional Strategies
Neoliberalism, Institutional Change, and Regional Activism
Toward a Comparative Theory of Developmental Failure and Success
Appendix: A Game Theory Model of Economic Policy in a Centralized Federation
Works Cited
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About Aseema Sinha

Aseema Sinha is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2004-05, she will be a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
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