Impact of Political Economy on Economic Strategy Making in India (1947–1991)

Akshay Joshi is pursuing PhD in International Politics at the Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The views expressed are personal.
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  • May 2017

    What has been the impact of Political Economy and ideational factors such as formative experiences of a State, ideas of strategic thinkers and history on the strategic economic choices made by nation-states? While many authors have used the political economy framework to analyse global and domestic change, it is surprising that not many scholars have adequately explored the impact of political economy and ideational factors on economic strategy making in the Indian context. This article seeks to build on existing research by studying the interaction between political, social, historical, economic and ideational factors to explain India’s economic strategy making in the post-independence period until the 1991 reforms. The article looks at some of the key ‘turning points’ in India’s economic development post-independence (1947–1991) and examines how India’s economic strategies were impacted by a combination of political, economic, social and ideational factors as well as the constant interaction between the domestic and international environments. In doing so, the article seeks to understand the complexity of India’s economic development and to explain why India’s policy-making community took the strategic economic decisions that it took.​