Despite becoming a global economic force, why does India win so few Olympic medals, and why do so many of its people live in conditions of poverty? Why have opportunities not become available more broadly? How can growing individuals assist with the task of building a growing economy?
In contrast to other investigations, which have taken a top-down view of developments in the country, Anirudh Krishna’s The Broken Ladder presents a ground-up view, delving into the lives of ordinary individuals. Through decades-long investigations conducted on the ground, living in villages and investigating slum communities, Krishna reveals the heartbreaking and eye–opening details of missed opportunities and immense, but untapped, talent that can and should be honed, with immense consequences for both growth and equity.
From presenting possible solutions to the problems of neediness and inequity, to mulling over ways of fixing inequalities of opportunity, the book gives us a comprehensive account of India’s development strategies.
Anirudh Krishna is the Edgar T. Thompson Professor of Public Policy and professor of political science at Duke University, USA. His research investigates how poor communities and individuals in developing countries cope with the structural and personal constraints that result in poverty and powerlessness. Recent books include The Broken Ladder: The Paradox and the Potential of India’s One-Billion (Penguin, India and Cambridge University Press, forthcoming); One Illness Away: Why People Become Poor and How they Escape Poverty (Oxford University Press, 2010); and Poverty, Participation and Democracy: A Global Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2008). Before returning to academia, Krishna spent 14 years with the Indian Administrative Service, managing diverse rural and urban development initiatives. Current research concerns include social mobility, spatial inequality, democratic governance, and urban slums.