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Patrons of the PoorCaste Politics and Policymaking in India$
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Narayan Lakshman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198069980

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198069980.001.0001

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Analysing Poverty in India

(p.1) Introduction
Patrons of the Poor

Narayan Lakshman

Oxford University Press

Poverty in India has proven to be inflexible ever since the country gained its independence more than fifty years ago, prompting the question of what the role of the state or public policy is in reducing poverty in India. This introductory chapter examines the central role of politics in helping to reduce poverty levels in India, as well as the theoretical background of an analysis on poverty. This includes the regime type, which is considered as the ultimate unit of analysis. The chapter discusses class politics, public policy, and caste dominance, and provides a working definition of ‘poverty’. In the latter portion of the chapter, there is a discussion on the state politics and empirical evidence of the poverty levels in two Indian states, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The chapter ends with a discussion of the research questions, theoretical implications, and original contribution of the book.

Keywords:   public policy, reducing poverty in India, regime type, class politics, caste dominance, state politics, poverty levels, causality, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu

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