Democratic Politics and Economic Reform in India by Rob Jenkins

By Rob Jenkins

Successive Indian governments have remained dedicated to market-oriented reform on account that its creation in 1991. In a well-argued and arguable exam of the political dynamics that underlie that dedication, Jenkins demanding situations present theories of the connection among democracy and monetary liberalization. He contends that whereas democracy and liberalization are not any longer thought of incompatible, the hot pondering emphasizes the healthy features of democracy, downplaying the enticements of populism and its reliance on obfuscatory strategies in defusing political resistance. actually, the writer argues, it truly is via such political maneuvering that democracy survives.

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20 Democratic politics and economic reform in India liberalising countries in East and South-East Asia, this represents the imposition of a comparative framework, the ultimate aim of which is prescriptive. They are thus not relevant in understanding the extent to which, within the Indian context, the reforms to regulations governing foreign ownership have Xown in the face of conventional wisdom about what is politically feasible. As non-resident Indian industrialist Swraj Paul put it, ‘If you look at the reforms from India’s point of view, there has been great change .

N. Ռ Had Bardhan taken proper account of these three groups, then each of his dominant proprietary classes would have looked rather less monolithic, as indeed they do after more than seven years of economic reform in the 1990s. He might then have been more receptive to the potential for such a situation to stand the collective-action dilemma on its head: instead of stressing the diYculties of getting the dominant economic interests to act in concert to save their collective skins, he would have seen that their mutual antagonisms (and internal divisions) would have rendered them ill-prepared to orchestrate a campaign of opposition to a government which had precipitated matters by unveiling a programme of liberalisation without explicit prompting.

It has ‘ended four decades of planning and . . À– Surely, this is a profound reorientation that demands explanation. As we shall see in future chapters, the notion of a ‘quiet’ revolution is integral to the explanation oVered in this book. Explaining the abandonment of Indian economic reform in the 1980s We now turn to India’s short-lived experiment with economic liberalisation under Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the mid-1980s. It was launched in the budget of 1985–6 and lasted, by most accounts, until some time in 1987, when reform was eVectively abandoned.

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