This chapter outlines the analytical framework for the larger volume, situating the book’s inquiry of India’s institutional foundations in the larger context of the multiple transformations the country has experienced since 1947. In so doing, it explicitly seeks to build on a 2005 volume by Kapur and Mehta on India’s public sector performance. The chapter then explicates the central themes that characterize the eleven institutions, or institutional clusters, examined in the book. In the penultimate section, it discusses five central elements of the Indian state’s struggle to transition from “old order” to “new order” institutions. It concludes by arguing that serious institutional reform is vital if the country is to build and sustain an Indian state for the twenty-first century.
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