ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Mitu Sengupta

A Déjà Vu Agenda or a Development Agenda?

The official debate on the Sustainable Development Goals, which will replace the Millennium Development Goals when they expire in 2015, is moving very quickly at the United Nations. This article critically analyses the post-2015 development agenda from the perspective of developing countries and finds the myriad green lights given to private sector financing and partnerships for sustainable development without any specific language on evaluations, accountability, transparency and overall governance, deeply worrying.

How the State Changed Its Mind: Power, Politics and the Origins of India's Market Reforms

There are a set of dubious though politically expedient explanations for the origins of India's market reforms. These explanations problematically construe India's "paradigm shift" as the outcome of a non-ideological and "inevitable" process of intellectual evolution among policy "technocrats". The paper proposes an opposing view of the policy process, in which conflict is central, and the deliberate exercise of power is crucial to why some policy alternatives are privileged and selected over others. It is suggested that far from being the one inescapable conclusion to the lengthy debates over economic strategy that were typical to India's economic history, the 1991 reforms arose out of the political defeat of many credible alternatives. These reforms represented the surprising eclipsing of not only an alternative economic paradigm, but also the reversal of almost 50 years of nationalist anxiety over India's position of disadvantage within an inequitable global order. In light of this, the "paradigm shift" is viewed as a political event that might have been eluded under different political circumstances, and not as an historically necessary phenomenon brought to light by an elite team of "experts".