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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2009

Stuart Corbridge
Affiliation:
London School of Economics and Political Science
Glyn Williams
Affiliation:
Keele University
Manoj Srivastava
Affiliation:
London School of Economics and Political Science
René Véron
Affiliation:
University of Guelph, Ontario
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Summary

In recent years there has been a sea-change in the ways in which the state in India has sought to present itself to its poorest citizens. To listen to leading members of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in 2004 one would think that the year 2000 (or even 2001 or 2002) was something like Ground Zero in this respect. Ministers from leading human development departments were in the habit of swatting away criticism of their ministries on the ground that everything was in flux. In a world of village education committees, citizen scorecards and newly vibrant panchayati raj institutions, not to mention a new era of public–private partnerships, it apparently made no sense to criticize ministers for faults that may or may not have dogged previous administrations.

This was nonsense, of course, for many of the innovations that were being trumpeted by the NDA were first given shape by the Congress and United Front governments of the 1990s, when village education committees and joint forest management were launched with appropriate pomp and fanfare. It would also be unwise to assume that new rhetoric about a kinder and more responsive system of government must correspond in any clear way to the perceptions of poorer or more vulnerable people. All democratic governments are tempted by the fruit of exaggeration, and Partha Chatterjee is right to insist that poorer people in ‘most of the world’ (2004: 3) are very often compelled to meet the state as members of social groups ‘that transgress the strict lines of legality in struggling to live and work’ (Chatterjee 2004: 40).

Type
Chapter
Information
Seeing the State
Governance and Governmentality in India
, pp. 1 - 12
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

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  • Introduction
  • Stuart Corbridge, London School of Economics and Political Science, Glyn Williams, Keele University, Manoj Srivastava, London School of Economics and Political Science, René Véron, University of Guelph, Ontario
  • Book: Seeing the State
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511492211.002
Available formats
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  • Introduction
  • Stuart Corbridge, London School of Economics and Political Science, Glyn Williams, Keele University, Manoj Srivastava, London School of Economics and Political Science, René Véron, University of Guelph, Ontario
  • Book: Seeing the State
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511492211.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Stuart Corbridge, London School of Economics and Political Science, Glyn Williams, Keele University, Manoj Srivastava, London School of Economics and Political Science, René Véron, University of Guelph, Ontario
  • Book: Seeing the State
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511492211.002
Available formats
×