Cabal City: Regime Theory and Indian Urbanization

33 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2016

See all articles by Patrick Heller

Patrick Heller

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Partha Mukhopadhyay

Center for Policy Research (India)

Michael Walton

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: June 24, 2016

Abstract

This paper explores the interaction of politics and business through the lens of the city. The power of business to influence politics in India would lead to a prediction that Indian cities are, in the classic sense of the term, growth machines. Yet we argue in this paper that fundamental problems of governance in India’s megacities have precluded the possibility of business coalitions exerting cohesive influence over investments policies in cities. The result has been the predominance of what we call cabals, that are expert at extracting rents from the city, but in the end fail to promote development in the sense of an institutionalized process of economic and social improvement in the city. Where there has been high growth, it has not been accompanied by the expansion of the cities’ infrastructure and overall coordination capacities. In the end, what is good for business and politicians had neither been good for capitalism in terms of dynamic accumulation nor for inclusion of middle and poorer social groups.

Keywords: development, India, social groups, urban, governance, megacities

Suggested Citation

Heller, Patrick and Mukhopadhyay, Partha and Walton, Michael, Cabal City: Regime Theory and Indian Urbanization (June 24, 2016). Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs Research Paper No. 2016-32. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2803570 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2803570

Patrick Heller (Contact Author)

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs ( email )

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States

Partha Mukhopadhyay

Center for Policy Research (India) ( email )

Dharma Marg
Chanakyapuri
New Delhi, 110022
India

Michael Walton

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4562 (Phone)
617-496-5747 (Fax)

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