‘Malgudi on the Move: Bardhan’s Political Economy and the Rest of India’

Barbara Harriss-White, Muhammad Ali Jan, Asha Amirali

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


In his seminal book The Political Economy and Development of India (PEDI), Pranab Bardhan recognizes the ‘ferment’ of subordinate classes but does not tackle the questions of their origins and roles. In this chapter we examine three aspects of the impact on the ‘rest of India’ of the coalition of dominant proprietary classes, whose competitive jousting over scarce resources in the 1970s and 1980s led Pranab Bardhan to conclude they had slowed investment and growth. We conclude that much of the economy is neither purely agrarian nor industrial, a heterogeneity that challenges distinct class categories. Not only is the persistent mass of small firms indispensable to dominant classes but also, to driving growth and livelihoods, the power of numbers is able to challenge the power of capital.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClass and Conflict
Subtitle of host publicationRevisiting Pranab Bardhan's Political Economy of India
EditorsElizabeth Chatterjee, Matthew McCartney
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780199098811
ISBN (Print)9780199499687
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


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