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How Lives ChangePalanpur, India, and Development Economics$
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Himanshu, Peter Lanjouw, and Nicholas Stern

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198806509

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198806509.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

Society and Politics

Society and Politics

Inertia and Change*

(p.404) 11 Society and Politics
How Lives Change


Peter Lanjouw

Nicholas Stern

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the village as a society and polity, showing how relations between different social groups in Palanpur have changed and how the interactions of institutions and politics with economic change can help explain the nature and evolution of society. It also looks at the state of public institutions in Palanpur, documenting a decay in the quality and provision of public services, as well as an absence of any significant collective action to change this. It would be overly simplistic to argue that, because caste relations were historically centred around agricultural production, they are weakening with the declining economic importance of agriculture. Rather, there has been an emergence of caste as a proxy for trust in an increasingly informal and anonymous labour market outside the village. Furthermore, exogenously imposed changes, such as the introduction of panchayat elections, have seen new alliances being built.

Keywords:   village society, village polity, caste relations, collective action, public institutions

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