What should states in the developing world do and how should they do it? How have states in the developing world addressed the challenges of promoting development, order, and inclusion? States in the developing world are supposed to build economies, control violence, and include the population. How they do so depends on historical origins and context as well as policy decisions. This volume presents a comprehensive theory of state capacity, what it consists of, and how it may be measured. With historical empirical illustrations it suggests that historical origins and political decisions help drive the capacity of states to meet their goals.
Puts forward a new theory of state capacity
Offers a comparative study of empirical historical cases
Presents a fresh view on the challenges facing developing countries
Long considered one of the great successes of the developing world, India has in recent years experienced growing challenges to political order and stability. Dominant social groups face growing demands of newly organized social groups, often leading to intense violence, and the once hegemonic Congress party has forfeited is commanding role, culminating in the defeat of Rajiv Gandhi in the recent national elections. Institutional mechanisms for the resolution of conflict have broken down, the civil and police services have become highly politicized, and the state bureaucracy appears incapable of implementing an effective plan for economic development. In this book, Atul Kohli analyzes political change in India from the late 1960s to the late 1980s. Based on research conducted at the local, state and national level, the author analyzes the changing patterns of authority in and between the center and periphery. He combines rich empirical investigation, extensive interviews and theoretical perspectives in developing a detailed explanation of the growing crisis of governance his research reveals. The book will be of interest to both specialists in Indian politics and to students of comparative politics more generally as an analysis of political patterns that evolve in democratic governments in developing countries. Atul Kohli is an Associate Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs, Princeton University. He is the author of The State and Poverty in India: The Politics of Reform (CUP, 1987).