ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The State Resurrected-A Possible Reply To Harris s Questions

A Possible Reply To Harris's Questions Susmita Dasgupta NIGEL HARRIS's perspective on the recent World Development Report, 1997 (EPW, December 13-19, 1997) is unusually provocative, because it inserts questions without providing any answers. It attempts to put the reader in a state of agonising curiosity by refusing any explanation on the puzzlement which the article arouses. Harris throws a fusillade of questions to the reader as to why suddenly is there an anxiety that the state might disappear and hence a greater acceptability of this prime institution among the capitalists, the international bodies, civil society organisations and the intellectuals world over. Along with this he extols the reader to probe why the modern state should become the main institution, superseding all the other institutions of modern life and why that state sometimes become genocidical and abrogates human rights which it is supposed to protect. All this issues against the background that all through the 1970s and the 1980s, the main currents of intellectual thought assigned almost all social ills, economic failures and political nonperformance to the state.

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