Both India and China have experienced economic changes that have generated new challenges for local institutions. This volume closely studies the resultant grass-roots political experiences in these countries from an interdisciplinary perspective. It examines the process of democratization and highlights the growing demands for participation and the complex power structures interjecting them.

The contributors to this volume discuss issues relating to institutional structures and the dynamics of local governance in a changing socio-economic environment. In addition to the political economy of rural areas, they also focus on the role of gender, ethnicity, and religion in local political processes.

Key Features

Outlines how institutional innovation has evolved in both countries; Highlights the impact of the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution (in India) and the Organic Law (in China) in facilitating political participation; Investigates how far the new democratic processes have reduced ethnic subordination, caste hierarchy, and gender injustice at the village level

Comprising individual case studies as well as comparative perspectives, this pioneering volume raises new issues of institution-building and socio-economic change vis-à-vis the right to participate. It will be of particular interest to political scientists, sociologists, and social activists.

Imperfect Substitutes: The Local Political Economy of Informal Finance and Microfinance in Rural China and India

Imperfect Substitutes: The Local Political Economy of Informal Finance and Microfinance in Rural China and India

Imperfect substitutes: The local political economy of informal finance and microfinance in rural China and India

‘[O]fficial reports of the moneylender's impending demise are much exaggerated’ (Clive Bell on India, 1990).

‘The fact that these private or underground credit money houses exist and sometimes thrive in the countryside even today has revealed that farmers need them (People's Daily on China, 29 November 2002).


Developmental economists have long noted the complexity of providing effective rural credit delivery in large, agrarian countries such as India and China.2 Establishing and maintaining a network of rural financial institutions is expensive and managing their operations is difficult in the absence of proper training, monitoring and incentive structures. ...

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