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

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Varieties of State-Capital Relations in India

A report of a workshop held in King's India Institute, London that sought to move beyond narrow disciplinary approaches in understanding the Indian economy.

This note is a summary of discussions that took place at a workshop on “Varieties of State-Capital Relations in India” in May 2013 as part of a partnership between University of California Berkeley, King’s College London and the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai.1 The partnership has been established in an attempt to revitalise the field of political economy with respect to contemporary India, seeking to challenge the move towards more narrow disciplinary approaches in recent years. The workshop brought together political scientists, economists and several anthropologists around the theme of variation in state-capital relations in India over time and space.

The need to better understand the shape of state-capital relations has been heightened by the coincidence of (a) high rates of economic growth alongside high-profile corruption cases since the early 2000s indicating the existence – in places – of collusive relations between state and capital; (b) pressing distributive conflicts arising from rising inequality as well as displacement, dispossession and environmental degradation which call into question the role of the state and political institutions in mediating these conflicts. The slowdown of overall growth rates in the last financial year has increased the immediate urgency to understand India’s contemporary political economic settlement in the face of these twin pressures.

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