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

A+| A| A-

States and Civil Societies in Modern Asia

A look at the change in state forms and governmental functions brought about by the impact of the West on Asia. THE colonial state in India is at the centre of this paper, hut I have looked at it in contrast to other countries in Asia, particulary China. My choice of topic was influenced by my growing dissatisfaction with the treatment in the literature of the colonial slate in India. The discussion of the colonial state in India has been at once too lofty and tot) narrow. The state is thought of in capital letters, as the dominant actor in the colonial period. It is assumed that it is omnipotent, so that its actions can be explained solely by its will and its motives. Analysis of its capabilities is hence deemed unnecessary. But in fact the colonial state was constrained by history, and by its own ideology, and these constraints have been inherited by its successors. Colonialism was India's vehicle to the modern world, and the vehicle partly determined the nature of the journey and of the final destination.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top