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	State Restructuring and Economic Development in India and China

State Restructuring and Economic Development in India and China

Subnational Scales in Comparative Perspective

4 mai 2012

India’s gradual reform programme spanning the last 20 years has been accompanied by a process of state restructuring at all spatial scales. This process is less a consequence of deliberate delegation on the part of the central state than a secondary effect induced by changes in governance, characterized by a profound redefinition of the lines dividing the public and private spheres. The concept of state re-scaling, which is at the centre of this reflection, designates a change in the spatial frame of reference of public action (Brenner 2004). It offers a compelling framework for examining the political economy of India through a spatially sensitive lens. At the national scale, we propose to consider that national growth strategies are no longer framed to “fit” neatly with national territorial borders, rather the gradual opening of the economy has favoured strategies that aim to create competitive spaces e.g., special economic zones, industrial estates, usually in urban areas, which put subnational spaces into direct competition with each other. Likewise, political elites in some of India’s States are rescaling their territories as a strategic response to opportunities opened up by economic liberalisation, although State governments have responded in different ways to recent changes in economic environment. One of the objectives of the workshop is to analyse the modalities of state re-scaling through specific case studies and to examine the consequences of public action in different policy areas at various spatial scales (national, regional, metropolitan). We propose to engage with these issues by comparing and contrasting rescaling processes in China, where deep economic restructuring is underway and where subnational state spaces (provinces, municipalities) have emerged as critical drivers of economic development. This comparative approach will allow us to reflect on the theoretical relevance of the notion of re-scaling in emerging economies, compared to advanced industrialised countries where it has been used to understand economic restructuring in the post-fordist era.


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