Why were some countries able to build "developmental states" in the decades after World War II while others were not? Through a richly detailed examination of India's experience, Locked in Place argues that the critical factor was the reaction of domestic capitalists to the state-building project. During the 1950s and 1960s, India launched an extremely ambitious and highly regarded program of state-led development. But it soon became clear that the Indian state lacked the institutional capacity to carry out rapid industrialization. Drawing on newly available archival sources, Vivek Chibber mounts a forceful challenge to conventional arguments by showing that the insufficient state capacity stemmed mainly from Indian industrialists' massive campaign, in the years after Independence, against a strong developmental state.
Chibber contrasts India's experience with the success of a similar program of state-building in South Korea, where political elites managed to harness domestic capitalists to their agenda. He then develops a theory of the structural conditions that can account for the different reactions of Indian and Korean capitalists as rational responses to the distinct development models adopted in each country.
Provocative and marked by clarity of prose, this book is also the first historical study of India's post-colonial industrial strategy. Emphasizing the central role of capital in the state-building process, and restoring class analysis to the core of the political economy of development, Locked in Place is an innovative work of theoretical power that will interest development specialists, political scientists, and historians of the subcontinent.
"[A]n important contribution to the larger theoretical debate about the role of the state in development and the place of class analysis. A British anthropologist friend remarked after reading it, 'How did he get a job in an American sociology department? Where is the post-modernism? Where are the regressions?' Instead we have a sustained analytical argument presented in writing that is crystal-clear and entirely free of jargon, with historical narrative of 'what was' tautly balanced with counterfactual 'what might have been.' The book assaults idle prejudice on every side of the debate about markets and the role of government. It is long overdue, and deserves to be widely read."--Robert Hunter Wade, European Journal of Sociology
"An excellent book on political economy that will interest scholars of economics, political science, and sociology and others concerned with economic development and the state structures that aid or hinder it. . . . Chibber has laid out an analysis of the political economy of development that cannot be ignored, and may offer important lessons for developing nations--and for those who would advise them--in the Middle East, Africa, and South America."--Choice
"Vivek Chibber's book is exceptionally clear, fresh, empirically rich, and analytically tight. It clears some conventional cobwebs in thinking about developmental states. It should be read widely."--Ronald J. Herring, Perspectives on Politics
"Chibber of course has much to contribute to the state-society debate, Indian historiography, and methodology germane to industrial change. His work provokes many questions and alternative counterfactuals for future research."--Anthony P. D'Costa, Journal of Asian Studies
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