State-Society Synergy: Government and Social Capital in by Peter B. Evans

By Peter B. Evans

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Additional resources for State-Society Synergy: Government and Social Capital in Development (Research Series, No 94) (Research Series (University of California, Berkeley International and Area Studies))

Sample text

By any account, these developmental successes are tied to what are clearly exceptionally high levels of social capital. S. dollars) Adult literacy HDI Index b Source: Kerala and India figures (excepting GDP) from GOK, State Planning Board, Economic Review (1992). HDI figures from UNDP (1994). All other figures from World Bank (1994). a Low-lncome Countries refers to the average of 40 countries so designated by the World Bank, excluding China and India. b The Human Development Index is a composite score of life expectancy, educational attainment, and income level developed by the UNDP.

Moreover, even by Indian standards, the state has been very active in regulating the market, restricting labor-displacing technologies in traditional industries, legislating work conditions and hiring practices in industry as well as in agriculture, and aggressively enforcing minimum wages. At this broad level then, state and society in Kerala have reinforced each other in a manner that unambiguously supports the “synergy” hypothesis Evans outlines in the introduction. State interventions aimed at providing public goods have built directly on Social Capital, Class Mobilization, and State Intervention 51 existing social capital resources and have in turn reinforced social capital.

Withholding payment of water fees was rarely used by the farmers as leverage to have their voices heard. In fact, the water fees have long ceased to be essential to the survival of the IAs. In most IAs, the water fees are not even enough to pay for the salaries of the IA officials. That the central government has been paying water fees on the farmers’ behalf since the early 1990s further breaks the link between the water fee payments and control by farmers. While these formal mechanisms might not have carried the control functions that they were supposed to, they were not totally irrelevant.

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