The Politics of Planning: Ideology and Agricultural Development Policy in India, 1951-65

Frankel, Francine

     In this dissertation, we shall present a model of political culture reflecting the shared values and beliefs of the dominant Indian elite, and demonstrate how specific agricultural programs including land reforms, ceilings, cooperative farming, State trading in food grains, community development, and panchayati raj have been derived from these values, often with only secondary considerations for questions of economic efficiency. We will also analyze the situational social, economic, and political factors in the rural areas which constitute basic obstacles to the effective implementation of the socialist development model for agriculture under voluntary methods of development. Finally, we will suggest an alternative development strategy based upon family farms and economic incentives to production, which seeks to reconcile considerations of private profit with social gain. We will argue that a development model can be designed to harness private interests to public purposes, in such a way as to achieve both greater agricultural productivity and social justice than is possible under unrealistic proposals to change the entire system of production incentives through education, persuasion, or other non-coercive processes of government.

Hans Morgenthau (chair), Grant McConnell, Myron Weiner