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Cosmopolitan Capitalism: Local State-Society Relations in China and India

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2016

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This article examines different patterns of “cosmopolitan capitalism” in three paired localities in China and India: (1) Zhejiang/Gujarat, (2) Zhongguancun/Bangalore, and (3) Guangdong/Kerala. The paired cases illustrate the attentiveness of the local state to transnational society and present varied expressions of the local developmental impact of remittances and return migration. Analytically, this article departs from conventional usages of both state and society by focusing on the local state in combination with a less territorial conception of society. The rationale for this dual definitional stretch—both downwards (local state) and outwards (transnational society)—has an empirical basis. First, the local government represents the day-to-day point of contact with “the state” for most people. Second, limiting the scope of “society” to populations currently residing within national borders unnecessarily excludes temporary migrants and diasporic communities who continue to identify with a locality. Theoretically, this article extends Albert Hirschman's classic categorical troika of “exit, voice, and loyalty” to the literature on new transnationalism.

Research Article
Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 2016 

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