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Locked in Place

Locked in Place: State-Building and Late Industrialization in India

Vivek Chibber
Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 360
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  • Book Info
    Locked in Place
    Book Description:

    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 Placeargues 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 Placeis an innovative work of theoretical power that will interest development specialists, political scientists, and historians of the subcontinent.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4077-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  5. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  6. PART I: The Issues and the Argument

    • CHAPTER 1 Introduction
      (pp. 3-12)

      Amid the enormous diversity of experience across developing countries since the Second World War, India has managed to stand out. At mid-century, in the years following its independence from British rule, there was a tremendous sense of anticipation as the nation embarked on its first development plan, perhaps the most ambitious yet witnessed in poor countries. Despite the grinding poverty of the bulk of the population, the expectations were that India had some of the basic ingredients required for a great leap forward economically: a rich stock of natural resources, an industrial base which, by the standards of the South,...

    • CHAPTER 2 Late Development and State-Building
      (pp. 13-48)

      The phenomenon of late development in the capitalist world economy has typically been associated with an important role for the state. This was, of course, true for the initial batch of countries, such as Germany and Japan, attempting to catch up with their more advanced competitors;¹ it has been even more so for what Albert Hirschman called the “late late developers”—the nations across the South in the postwar twentieth century that undertook programs of development planning.² In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to suggest that it was in this period that state-led development really emerged as a...

  7. PART II: Installing the State

    • CHAPTER 3 The Origins of the Developmental State in Korea
      (pp. 51-84)

      This chapter serves two functions: first, it provides the foil to the argument that is offered about the Indian case by showing that the state-building agenda in Korea was supported by an alliance between state managers and the capitalist class, and that this alliance itself was made rational by the adoption of an export-led model of development; second, it offers a new explanation of the origins of the developmental state in Korea, one that diverges from the reigning consensus. In particular, it shows that the turn to ELI was not foisted onto the bourgeoisie by a dominant state but, rather,...

    • CHAPTER 4 Precursors to Planning in India: The Myth of the Developmental Bourgeoisie
      (pp. 85-109)

      It is the argument of this book that the critical factor that blocked the building of a successful developmental state in India was the widespread and organized resistance of the business class. This assertion flies in the face of what is the dominant—indeed, virtually the unanimous—view among students of Indian economic history. The received wisdom is that business was not only amenable to capitalist planning but that, indeed, it took the initiative in actuallyproposingit. This chapter takes the first step toward showing that the conventional understanding of this aspect of Indian economic history is deeply flawed....

    • CHAPTER 5 The Demobilization of the Labor Movement
      (pp. 110-126)

      The previous chapter called for a reassessment of the view that, by the final years of colonial rule, leading segments of the Indian bourgeoisie had come to see the virtues of state-led development. I argued that the emblematic statement of this putative support for planning, the Bombay Plan, was not the crystallization of a class-wide sentiment welcoming active industrial policy; it was, instead, an attempt by a leading segment of the class to co-opt what seemed in 1942–43 to be a rapidly growing socialist tendency within the nationalist movement, by fitting the concept of planning into a capitalist framework....

    • CHAPTER 6 The Business Offensive and the Retreat of the State
      (pp. 127-158)

      The previous two chapters have shown that the momentum of events in the years after the war was not in a direction favorable to disciplinary planning. The business class gave a very cool reception to the second volume of the Bombay Plan in 1945, as well as to the publication of the industrial policy statement four months later. The signatories to the Bombay Plan, in turn, did not respond by taking the battle for state-led industrialization to their colleagues but, instead, meekly faded into the background. This, I argued, provides strong reason to believe that not only did the Bombay...

  8. PART III: Reproducing the State

    • CHAPTER 7 State Structure and Industrial Policy
      (pp. 161-192)

      The previous three chapters have focused on the “critical juncture” of 1947–51, the period in which the basic institutions of Indian industrial planning were installed. The main conclusion that emerges from the study of those years is that, contrary to the received wisdom concerning the Indian political economy, there was no real consensus around industrial planning on the morrow of Independence; in particular, the business class was virtually unanimous in rejecting the idea that the state ought to be vested with the power to regulate or control the flow of private investment. This did not generate a resistance to...

    • CHAPTER 8 Locked in Place: Explaining the Non-Occurrence of Reform
      (pp. 193-221)

      The argument presented in chapters 4 through 7 can be broken down into two parts: chapters 4, 5, and 6 showed that although building a developmental state was very much on the agenda in India, the capitalist class launched an offensive that largely scuttled this project. The planning apparatus that was institutionalized in the 1947–51 period was simply grafted onto the existing state structures, rather than restructuring the latter around itself. The capitalist offensive, in turn, was explained by the interests generated by an ISI model of development, which made it possible for business to garner high profits and...

    • CHAPTER 9 Conclusion
      (pp. 222-243)

      This book’s contributions to the political economy of development in India and Korea can be assimilated at three distinct levels: its reassessment of the historiography of the critical periods in the two countries, and particularly of the role of the respective capitalist classes; its offer of a more general framework that seeks to explain the structural mechanisms which influenced the actors choices, and which, I argue, may be generalized to other cases; and, finally, in the implicit counterfactual that there were options open to Indiawithinthe broad carapace of ISI which it did not take, and which, had it...

  9. EPILOGUE The Decline of Development Models
    (pp. 244-254)

    The focus of this book has been an analysis of the conditions under which a developmental state arose in India and Korea, with a subsidiary interest in the dynamics of state reproduction. Hence the historical period under investigation has been the first three decades or so following the installation of new state apparatuses in each country. The dynamics of recent years, whendirigismehas been slowly dismantled in both cases, have been left out of the analysis. In this epilogue I shall briefly attend to this, more recent period, for it raises an interesting question: is the turn away from...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 255-308)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 309-326)
  12. Index
    (pp. 327-334)