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.

Gender, Work and Power in an Andhra Village

Gender, Work and Power in an Andhra Village

Gender, work and power in an Andhra village


This chapter is an attempt to look at the role of self-help groups (SHGs) in the changing developmental context in rural India, and to compare this with the Chinese experience of rural development. Industrialisation in India failed to employ local forces of capital, leading to the local surplus capital being diverted to unproductive, usury-seeking sectors. On the other hand, in order to fulfil local needs of industry, outside capital and labour, and outside female labour in particular, were brought in resulting in the under use of local labour, which, in turn, resulted in a helpless struggle for survival for the majority of the families in the surrounding villages of the ...

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