Is India a Flailing State?: Detours on the Four Lane Highway to Modernization

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Is India a Flailing State?: Detours on the Four Lane Highway to Modernization

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Title: Is India a Flailing State?: Detours on the Four Lane Highway to Modernization
Author: Pritchett, Lant
Citation: Pritchett, Lant. 2009. Is India a Flailing State?: Detours on the Four Lane Highway to Modernization. HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP09-013, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
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Abstract: India is an emerging global superpower as its rapid growth has transformed its economy and has maintained itself as the world’s largest democracy. But at the same time India lags in many dimensions—its malnutrition rate is one of the highest in the world, its immunization rates are lower than most African countries, and Bangladesh has a better infant mortality rate. I argue that this is in part because the India state is “flailing”—its very capable head is not longer reliably connected to the arms and legs of implementation. In the four-fold transition of economy, polity, administration, and society the administrative capability of the state is lagging. I use examples from services like health, education, and routine transactions like issuing driver’s licenses to show that the agents of the state routinely do not implement the tasks they are assigned—causing a massive divergence between de jure and de facto reality. The paper concludes with speculations about the causes of flailing and possible future trajectories.
Published Version: http://web.hks.harvard.edu/publications/workingpapers/citation.aspx?PubId=6599
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4449106
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