Political Modernization in South Asia.

by W. Wilcox


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An analysis of the political systems of India and Pakistan, from British colonial rule to the present. By postcolonial standards, India's political structure is quite stable; in four national elections, 12,000 elective seats have been filled, and all political parties have prospered. India has now extended its jurisdiction to the lowest unit of administration, the village; but the government has increasingly decentralized, posing many problems. Pakistan, on the other hand, has retained a centralized authority governed by the military, bringing its backward provinces to a level characteristic of the British-Indian presidencies. A review of political philosophy recalls that all political systems are characterized by governmental capacity and, for both states, the British system has become inadequate. It is questioned whether either country can handle higher governmental tasks. Further political fragmentation from provincial cultures may not be disastrous, and might enable better management. The danger would be in the development of entirely new structures that would delay erosion of the parochial forces, and so impede economic and social growth. 52 pp. Ref.

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