Development experiences in South Asia: Themes in political economy

Home/ Development experiences in South Asia: Themes in political economy
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSDS2DS2214

Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon semester, July-December, 2020

Course Coordinator and Team: Professor Deepita Chakravarty

Email of course coordinator:


Aim: Among the more fascinating themes in contemporary south Asia, has been the ‘success’ of democracy in India and its ‘failure’ in neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh. Yet, studies on politico-economic development of ‘democratic’ India and military dominated ‘not so democratic’ Pakistan and Bangladesh have rarely addressed, far less explained, why a common British colonial legacy led to so different politico-economic outcomes in the contemporary South Asia. This course is an attempt at introducing some such political and economic questions with relevance to broader development issues concerning mainly Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. Given the vastness of issues including different countries this course tries to introduce a thematic approach to discuss comparative performances. Not all countries will be taken up in every case. In most of the cases the regional economy of India, and not the national economy, has been considered as this can provide a more meaningful comparison.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  • State formation, Industrialization and development experiences in South Asia: cases of Pakistan, and Bangladesh in the context of India: import substitution vs. export promotion
  • Agrarian questions: reforms and technological intervention in agriculture: experiences in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Indian states of West Bengal and Kerala
  • Migration , development and gender: International migration: the experiences of Sri Lanka and the Indian state of Kerala; Internal migration : Cases of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Bangladesh
  • The endemic poverty and the dismal state of the social sector in South Asia despite growth: A case of primary education in Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Assessment Details with weights: Three assessments: 1. Class presentations and tutorials/ viva: 30 per cent, 2. Class test: 30 per cent, 3. Term paper: 40 per cent ( this plan is likely to be modified )

While specific readings will be suggested while dealing with each of the modules the following is a broad suggestive list of readings

Reading List:

  • Pack, Howard. "Industrialization and trade." Handbook of development economics 1 (1988): 333-380.
  • Khan, Mushtaq. "The Political Economy of Industrial Policy in Pakistan 1947-1971." (1999).
  • Jalal, Ayesha (1995), Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia, Cambridge University Press: Chapters 2 and 3.
  • Zaidi, S.A (2005, 2nd edition of 1999 book), ‘Issues in Pakistan’s Economy’, Oxford University Press, Relevant Chapters
  • Chakravarty, S (1987), ‘Development Planning: The Indian Experience’, Clarendon, Oxford University Press, Chapters, 1, 2, 3 and the conclusion.
  • Mukherjee, D (1995) (ed.): Indian Industry: Policies and Performance, Delhi, Oxford University Press, ‘Introduction’
  • Hamza Alavi (1983): ‘Elite Farmer Strategy and Regional Disparities in Agricultural Development’ in Han Gardezi and Jamil Rashid (eds.) Pakistan The Roots of Dictatorship: The post Colonial Economy of a Praetorian State, Zed Press.
  • Herring Ronald J (1983): Land to the Tiller: The Political Economy of Agrarian Reformin South Asia, Yale University Press, London, Chapter 4: Land Ceilings in Pakistan: An Agrarian Bourgeois Revolution?
  • Sarkar, Sumit. Modern times: India 1880s-1950s: environment, economy, culture. 2014.
  • Husain Isharat (2002): Pakistan The Economy of an Elitist State, Oxford University Press, Oxford: chapter 4
  • Kabeer, Naila. "Globalization, labor standards, and women's rights: dilemmas of collective (in) action in an interdependent world." Feminist Economics 10.1 (2004): 3-35.
  • Kabeer, Naila, and Simeen Mahmud. "Rags, riches and women workers: export-oriented garment manufacturing in Bangladesh." Chains of fortune: Linking women producers and workers with global markets (2004): 133-164.
  • Mottaleb, Khondoker Abdul, and TetsushiSonobe."An inquiry into the rapid growth of the garment industry in Bangladesh." Economic Development and Cultural Change 60.1 (2011): 67-89.
  • Easterly, William. The elusive quest for growth: economists' adventures and misadventures in the tropics. MIT press, 2001.
  • Gazdar, Haris. "State, community, and universal education: A political economy of public schooling in rural Pakistan." Asia Research Centre, London School of Economics (2000).
  • Chakravarty, Deepita and Ishita Chakravarty. Women, Labour and the Economy in India: From Migrant Menservants to Uprooted Girl Children Maids. Routledge, London, New York, 2016. (selected chapters)
  • Agarwal, Bina, Jane Humphries, and Ingrid Robeyns. "CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION." Feminist Economics 9.2-3 (2003): 319-332.
  • United Nations (1975): Poverty, Unemployment and Development Policy: A case study of selected issues with reference to Kerala, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum
  • Rawal, Vikas, and Madhura Swaminathan. "Changing Trajectories: Agricultural Growth in West Bengal, 1950 to 1996." Economic and Political Weekly (1998): 2595-2602.
  • Gazdar, Haris, and Sunil Sengupta. "Agricultural growth and recent trends in well-being in rural West Bengal." Sonar bangla (1999): 60-91.
  • Ramachandran, V. K. "On Kerala’s development achievements." (1997) in Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze (ed.) Indian development: Selected regional perspectives.
  • Kohli, A (2012): Poverty Amid Plenty in the New India, Cambridge University Press, New York
  • WALTON‐ROBERTS, "Contextualizing the global nursing care chain: international migration and the status of nursing in Kerala, India." Global Networks 12.2 (2012): 175-194.
  • Zachariah, Kunniparampil Curien, Elangikal Thomas Mathew, and S. Irudaya Rajan. "Social, economic and demographic consequences of migration on Kerala." International Migration 39.2 (2001): 43-71.
  • Adkoli, B. V. "Migration of Health Workers: Perspectives from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka." Regional Health Forum. Vol. 10. No. 1. 2006.
  • Taylor, Edward J. "The new economics of labour migration and the role of remittances in the migration process." International migration 37.1 (1999): 63-88.
  • Athukorala, Premachandra. "International contract migration and the reintegration of return migrants: the experience of Sri Lanka." International Migration Review (1990): 323-346.
  • Sriskandarajah, Dhananjayan. "The migration–development nexus: Sri Lanka case study." International Migration 40.5 (2002): 283-307.
  • Nayyar, Deepak. Industrial growth and stagnation: the debate in India. Oxford University Press, USA, 1994.
  • Lewis Davis (2011): Bangladesh Politics, Economy and Civil Society, Cambridge University Press.
  • Anwar, T (2010), ‘Role of Growth and Inequality in Explaining Changes in Poverty in Pakistan’, The Pakistan Development Review, 49:1.
  • Dreze, Jean, and Amartya Sen. Indian development: Selected regional perspectives. Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Khan, Mushtaq. "Bangladesh: Partitions, Nationalisms and Legacies for State-Building." (2010).
  • Noman, O (1988), ‘The Political Economy of Pakistan, 1947-1985’, KPI Publishers, Relevant Chapters.