India Review, 2016.
State capacity is often seen as simply the resources and capabilities of state organizations to perform those functions that are seen as essential to monopolizing coercion, maintaining legitimacy, and providing key public and social goods. As such, it is often conceptualized as value-neutral and comparable across national contexts. By contrast, this article posits that in the Indian context, state capacity is a politically contested concept, because there is deep and enduring political conflict in India over the appropriate roles and related capabilities of state power. This conflict is grounded in disagreements between those who wish to use the state as a tool to transform society and those who see it as a means to preserve and protect social relations. As a result of this conflict, the state in India is not weak or captured but internally divided and thus disarticulated. This article demonstrates these dynamics through an examination of state intervention in the statist and post-liberalization political economy of India.
Indirect rule is a classic concept in the study of colonialism and colonial legacies. This paper argues that we need a more disaggregated conceptualization of indirect rule, rather than a simple dichotomy between direct and indirect rule. We build a three-fold typology of forms of indirect rule: suzerain, hybrid, and de jure rule. We use evidence from South Asia to explore processes that led to varying forms of governance under colonialism. Mechanisms of change that occurred at and after de-colonization are then identified. Strategic concerns, revenue extraction, and social resistance were important across both periods, while the rise of new international norms and regime ideologies after World War II shaped the post-colonial order in distinctive ways. These concepts and mechanisms are not unique to South Asia, and form the basis for new research on varieties of governance.
The Politics of Developmental State Persistence: Institutional Origins, Industrialization and Provincial Challenge (with Caroline E. Arnold),
Studies in Comparative International Development, 2015.
How and why do developmental state institutions persist? We address this conceptual question through an empirical puzzle: even though Pakistan and Turkey, like South Korea and Taiwan, constructed postwar developmental state institutions, the Pakistani and Turkish economies have been unable to upgrade to higher value-added production following the Korean and Taiwanese experience. If, as many scholars argue, the creation of developmental state institutions is necessary and sufficient for high growth outcomes, how can we understand the divergence between these two sets of cases? We argue that that the persistence of developmental state institutions is contingent on the absence of articulated opposition from agrarian actors and provincial capitalists against regimes of industrial promotion.
Studies in Comparative International Development, 2014.
How might we understand the maintenance of political order in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas from Pakistani Independence until the mid-2000s, when all the factors used to explain the current insurgency have been present for decades? This article argues that particularistic institutional arrangements between the state and tribal structures – what I call ‘hybrid governance’ – established and maintained political order in the region. It develops a conceptual framework for the creation and maintenance of hybrid governance – where the state explicitly shares coercion with societal elites – as a specific kind of indirect rule.
Studies in Comparative International Development, 2013.
How might we characterize and explain industrial variation within devel- oping economies? The strategies of manufacturers in India and Pakistan exhibit this variation within countries, sub-national units, and sectors. I argue that, far from being driven by the incentives of state institutions, the practices of industrial firms are driven by the social orientation of industrialists. I demonstrate the presence of variation and explain the dichotomy primarily through empirical research on firms in the pharmaceutical industry, as a least likely case for variation.
State Security and Elite Capture: the Implementation of Anti-Terrorist Legislation in India (with Manoj Mate),
Journal of Human Rights, 2010.
This paper examines the current challenges facing the Indian Government in the implementation of these laws, in light of India’s experience with the Prevention of Ter- rorism Act of 2002 (POTA).We analyze how POTA, a law originally designed to protect the Indian nation as a whole from extraordinary terrorist threats, was instead captured by state-level political elites and wielded as a weapon against rival political groups. We argue that this dynamic can be explained by the broader political transformation in the federalist structure of the Indian polity that occurred in the 1990s: the fragmentation and decline of Congress party control over the Central Government allowed state and regional parties, and state governments, to claim more and more power at the expense of the Center.