Red Tape Bureaucracy, Structural Violence, and Poverty in India

ISBN-10: 0822351102
ISBN-13: 9780822351108
Edition: 2012
Authors: Akhil Gupta
List price: $28.95 Buy it from $28.79
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Description: Red Tapepresents a major new theory of the state developed by the renowned anthropologist Akhil Gupta. Seeking to understand the chronic and widespread poverty in India, the world's fourth largest economy, Gupta conceives of the relation between the  More...

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Book details

List price: $28.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 7/17/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

Red Tapepresents a major new theory of the state developed by the renowned anthropologist Akhil Gupta. Seeking to understand the chronic and widespread poverty in India, the world's fourth largest economy, Gupta conceives of the relation between the state in India and the poor as one of structural violence. Every year this violence kills between two and three million people, especially women and girls, and lower-caste and indigenous peoples. Yet India's poor are not disenfranchised; they actively participate in the democratic project. Nor is the state indifferent to the plight of the poor; it sponsors many poverty amelioration programs.Gupta conducted ethnographic research among officials charged with coordinating development programs in rural Uttar Pradesh. Drawing on that research, he offers insightful analyses of corruption; the significance of writing and written records; and governmentality, or the expansion of bureaucracies. Those analyses underlie his argument that care is arbitrary in its consequences, and that arbitrariness is systematically produced by the very mechanisms that are meant to ameliorate social suffering. What must be explained is not only why government programs aimed at providing nutrition, employment, housing, healthcare, and education to poor people do not succeed in their objectives, but also why, when they do succeed, they do so unevenly and erratically.

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