• June 13, 1999
  • Review

Originally published in Economic and Political Weekly (June 12, 1999), this comparative review of two long-term studies of village economies concludes that anyone familiar with swathes of the Indian countryside knows of progressive villages typically with strong leadership, indigenous or outside, and weak ones without.

The leadership does emerge from nature and history, but it rises and decays as well showing its dependence on particular people. Sometimes it can be institutionalized, even when it is not it may leave lasting legacies or residues.

Books Reviewed

  • Economic Development in Palanpur over Five Decades. Edited by Nicholas Stern and Peter Lanjouw. Clarendon Press: Oxford.1998.
  • Village Voices: Forty Years of Rural Transformation in South India. T. Scarlett Epstein, A P Suryanarayana, and T.Thimmegowda. Altamira Press: Walnut Creek, CA.1998.
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