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The Purposeful Destruction of State Capacity in Bihar, India

Published on 1 June 2015

This chapter explores such a case of the intentional weakening of some aspects of state capacity by political insiders. It deals with techniques of ruling pursued by Lalu Prasad Yadav while he was de jure or de facto Chief Minister of the Indian State of Bihar over most of the 15 year period from 1990 to 2005. The worsening situation under his rule was at the time widely misunderstood as an exacerbation of problems that were deeply rooted in the history and public institutions of Bihar. We show that this was not the case. The deterioration in governance under Lalu Prasad was principally the result of conscious decisions to weaken the state apparatus as a means of pursuing electoral goals.This chapter explores the case of the intentional weakening of some aspects of state capacity by political insiders. It deals with techniques of ruling pursued by Lalu Prasad Yadav while he was de jure or de facto Chief Minister of the Indian State of Bihar over most of the 15 year period from 1990 to 2005. The worsening situation under his rule was at the time widely misunderstood as an exacerbation of problems that were deeply rooted in the history and public institutions of Bihar. We show that this was not the case. The deterioration in governance under Lalu Prasad was principally the result of conscious decisions to weaken the state apparatus as a means of pursuing electoral goals. The quality of governance in Bihar improved radically after his rule ended with electoral defeat in 2005.

Authors

Image of Mick Moore
Mick Moore

Professorial Fellow

Publication details

published by
Springer
authors
Mathew, S. and Moore, M.

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