ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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MGNREGS in Undivided Andhra Pradesh

Bureaucratic Rationality, Political Will, and State Capacity

The successful implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in undivided Andhra Pradesh underlines the triumph of citizen formation over patron–client politics, aided by a democratic politics. This article argues that its success in Andhra Pradesh depended heavily on how the ideas within the rural development bureaucracy interacted with the political executive. This synergy engendered a state’s capacity to insulate a committed bureaucracy from powerful farmers and construction companies who had a clear interest in thwarting the programme. Elections can in a democracy elevate citizen concern over particularistic populism, when political will is matched by ideational conviction in the bureaucracy.


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This study was undertaken prior to the formation of the state of Telangana, carved out of Andhra Pradesh on 2 June 2014. Hence, this article discusses MGNREGS in the context of undivided Andhra Pradesh. It may be noted that Nizamabad and Mahbubnagar districts, where we carried out field visits in 2013, are now located in Telangana. Wherever the article mentions Andhra Pradesh, it is the undivided Andhra Pradesh that is referred to.

Updated On : 8th Dec, 2017


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