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Democracy, Development, and the Countryside
Urban-Rural Struggles in India

$22.00 USD

Part of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

  • Date Published: February 2011
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511882913

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  • Several scholars have written about how authoritarian or democratic political systems affect industrialization in the developing countries. There is no literature, however, on whether democracy makes a difference to the power and well-being of the countryside. Using India as a case where the longest-surviving democracy of the developing world exists, this book investigates how the countryside uses the political system to advance its interests. It is first argued that India's countryside has become quite powerful in the political system, exerting remarkable pressure on economic policy. The countryside is typically weak in the early stages of development, becoming powerful when the size of the rural sector defies this historical trend. But an important constraint on rural power stems from the inability of economic interests to overpower the abiding, ascriptive identities, and until an economic construction of politics completely overpowers identities and non-economic interests, farmers' power, though greater than ever before, will remain self-limited.

    • First book to investigate whether democracy makes a difference to the power and well-being of the countryside in developing areas
    • Examines India, which has had the longest surviving democracy in the developing world
    • No directly competing books
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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2011
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511882913
    • contains: 16 b/w illus. 8 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    Introduction
    1. Town-Country struggles in development
    2. Nehru's agricultural policy: a Reconstruction
    3. Policy change in the mid-1960s
    4. Rise of Agrarian power in the 1970s
    5. Organizing the countryside in the 1980s
    6. Has rural India lost out?
    7. Paradoxes of power and the intracacies of economic policy
    8. Conclusion: democracy and the countryside
    Endnotes.

  • Author

    Ashutosh Varshney, Harvard University, Massachusetts

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