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Ascending India and Its State CapacityExtraction, Violence, and Legitimacy$
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Sumit Ganguly and William R. Thompson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300215922

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300215922.001.0001

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The Indian State’s Capacity to Get Things Done

The Indian State’s Capacity to Get Things Done

(p.1) One The Indian State’s Capacity to Get Things Done
Ascending India and Its State Capacity

Sumit Ganguly

William R. Thompson

Yale University Press

This introductory chapter assesses state capacity in India. There is little question, as many boosters of India's rise have argued, that the Indian state has exhibited considerable ability to tackle diverse challenges since its emergence from the collapse of the British Indian Empire. It has, for the most part, successfully fended off external challenges to its territorial integrity; it has worn down a series of secessionist insurgencies and has managed to cope with the many fissiparous tendencies of ethnic, class, and religious cleavages that some analysts thought would tear the country apart in the 1960s. However, state capacity remains paradoxical in India. India does not possess a weak state, but neither does it have a strong state. Its state capacity falls in between the conventional weak-strong continuum. As a consequence, the Indian state manifests both strengths and weakness, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes intermittently.

Keywords:   state capacity, India, Indian state, British Indian Empire

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