GOVT-503 Indian Political Economy
Fall for 2013-2014
This course attempts to explain the origins of, the reasons for, and the policy implications of economic change in India. Along the way we will explore some political economy theories that may explain patterns of development, and critically examine the field of Political Economy generally and the political economy of India in particular.
We will survey some of the principal themes in found out the juncture of political and economic change (or what some would call “development”) in India. First we will review a variety of types of political economy explanation including, open economy politics (OEP), rationalist explanations, transaction cost and institutional explanations, and sociological explanations including political culture, social construction of economic activity, and identity politics such as nationalism and domestic social structure. With this background we will move on to an explorations organized by historical and functional components such as the colonial period (historical) and the Information Technology sector (functional).
In the historical and functional weeks of the course, material will introduce the colonial and post-Independence systems of political economy characterizing and explaining patterns in those systems. We will then move on to a study of the political economy of economic reform starting in the 1980s and reaching their crescendo in 1991. We will then move on to functional components that will (where possible) look across time at a range of actors (formal and informal institutions, firms) to explore factors of production (land, labor and capital), economic sectors (agriculture, industry and services), and industrial-commercial sectors (finance, pharma, infotech). Along the way we will look at ways to understand how and why India is globalizing and integrating with the world economy. We will look at patterns of continuity and change in the organization and behavior of key actors such as the firms, civil society, as well as the state, its institutions and the political system (which is much more than the state).
The main aim of the course is to familiarize students with patterns of continuity and change in the interaction between political power and economic activity in India. The approach is interdisciplinary drawing on work in political science, history, anthropology, sociology, demographics, and economics.
Although the main focus is on economic and political issues in India and the South Asian region, the course will also provide a basic understanding of the problems faced by developing countries more generally.
Students will be expected to think critically about debates of fact and theory related to economic and political change (often referred to as “development”) and the associated policy implications.
Policy issues pertaining to economic growth and development will be studied from a broad and rigorous analytical base. Examples of topics covered include: contemporary and historic features of “development” in India; poverty and inequality; financial inclusion; trade and financial liberalization; democracy and caste; institutions and governance.
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: