India Working: Essays on Society and Economy

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Cambridge University Press, 2003 - Business & Economics - 316 pages
By drawing on her intimate knowledge of the region and on the adjacent theoretical literature, Barbara Harris-White describes the working of the Indian economy through its most important social structures of accumulation. Successive chapters explore a range of topics including labour, class, the state, gender, religious plurality, caste and space.The author's conclusion challenges the prevailing notion that liberalisation releases the economy from political interference. This is a vivid and compelling book, by a distinguished scholar, for students of economics, and for those studying the region.
 

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This is an important book which has in its content description of conflicting situations on how 'capitalist growth through Industrial Districts' could be organised. The book describes evolution of successful industrial districts in countries such as Italy and US, has implications in the way government of many states in India is making interventions to organise 'growth' of economy through many interventions , for example, every state in India has State Industrial Development Corporation. These Corporations have in recent past supported establishment of Special Economic Zones, which were described as 'economic miracle' by proponents and detractors dubbed them as 'real estate fraud' (Jagdish Bhagwati). Within short span of five years many of SEZs are under cloud and some states like Goa has withdrawn sanctioned SEZs and some big corporate groups like Reliance Industries has dragged their feet from their BIGGEST VENTURES in Maharashtra and Haryana, on one or the other pretext.
The underlying issue, I think, is poverty of ground research on how an organic zone can be created based upon social, physiogeographic, economic and environmental realities of a region or zone.
Regional Economic and Environmental Development Forums should be created by Local Self Government bodies (urban and rural Local Self Government bodies should join hands at supra-district levels) and a region should be a distinctive unit where some dominant economic activity is clearly manifested.
This type of approach of defining development in some selected economic domains of each state should be supported through involvement of various agencies of state, corporate system, academia and social pressure groups such as farmers and traders. This type of Forum should replace formal structure such as Councils on the pattern of making Local Economic Development (LED) Councils by World Bank.
This type of growth is needed and it could be properly rooted and inherent in it is the removal of bottlenecks of various kind and alignment of stronger synergies.
I am making a case for realising the potential of livestock sector in Haryana. I propose to design of decentralised clusters named "special animal husbandry augmentation zone (SAHAZ)', which may be created by both Haryana Industrial Development Corporation andThis is an important book which has in its content description of conflicting situations on how 'capitalist growth through Industrial Districts' could be organised. The book describes evolution of successful industrial districts in countries such as Italy and US, has implications in the way government of many states in India is making interventions to organise 'growth' of economy through many interventions , for example, every state in India has State Industrial Development Corporation. These Corporations have in recent past supported establishment of Special Economic Zones, which were described as 'economic miracle' by proponents and detractors dubbed them as 'real estate fraud' (Jagdish Bhagwati). Within short span of five years many of SEZs are under cloud and some states like Goa has withdrawn sanctioned SEZs and some big corporate groups like Reliance Industries has dragged their feet from their BIGGEST VENTURES in Maharashtra and Haryana, on one or the other pretext.
The underlying issue, I think, is poverty of ground research on how an organic zone can be created based upon social, physiogeographic, economic and environmental realities of a region or zone.
Regional Economic and Environmental Development Forums should be created by Local Self Government bodies (urban and rural Local Self Government bodies should join hands at supra-district levels) and a region should be a distinctive unit where some dominant economic activity is clearly manifested.
This type of approach of defining development in some selected economic domains of each state should be supported through involvement of various agencies of state, corporate system, academia and social pressure
 

Contents

Preface and acknowledgments
x
List of maps figures and tables
xiv
Glossary
xvi
Abbreviations
xix
Introduction the character of the Indian economy
1
The workforce and its social structures
17
Indian development and the intermediate classes
43
The local State and the informal economy
72
Space and synergy
200
How India works
239
Postscript protofascist politics and the economy
248
Liberalisation and Hindu fundamentalism
256
Relations between the developmental State and the intermediate classes1
258
Roles of religious minorities in the Indian economy
264
References
272
Index of names
304

Gender family businesses and business families
103
Indias religious pluralism and its implications for the economy
132
Caste and corporatist capitalism
176

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About the author (2003)

Barbara Harriss-White is Professor of Development Studies at Queen Elizabeth House, and Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Oxford.