CPR Dialogues 2020- Political Elites and Local Bureaucratic Capacity

13 March 2020
CPR Dialogues 2020- Political Elites and Local Bureaucratic Capacity

Watch the full video (above) of the panel discussion on ‘Political Elites and Local Bureaucratic Capacity’ featuring Shekhar Gupta (Founder, ThePrint India); Deepak Sanan (Senior Visiting Fellow, CPR); Patrick French (Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad University); Jayant Chaudhary (Former Member of Parliament, India); presentation by Rahul Verma (Fellow, CPR) and moderated by Mukulika Banerjee (Director, South Asia Centre, LSE).

There is ample evidence to show that concentration of power in the hands of a small number of political elites has an adverse impact on economic growth and provision of public goods, however our understanding about the conditions under which power concentration takes place is rather limited. The panel responded and reflected to a short presentation made by CPR Fellow Rahul Verma drawing on his fieldwork in Uttar Pradesh which shows that reproduction of traditional power structures as a by-product of well-oiled machinery maintained by few powerful elites - who are generally from upper castes, tend to keep political offices (across various levels) within family, collude with bureaucratic agents and oversee a large patronage network which has links with criminal entrepreneurs and brokers. They often operate like a cartel, which in turn has serious implications for local bureaucratic capacity.

The panel was organised as part of the second edition of CPR Dialogues, held on 2nd and 3rd March 2020 at the India Habitat Centre. Addressing the theme of Policy Perspectives for 21st-century India, CPR Dialogues 2020 provided a window to the India of the future. Experts from around the country and the world engaged with and debated these very significant development and policy challenges that India faces in the coming decade.

ThePrint India was the digital partner for the event.

An article on political elites in India, written by Rahul Verma in ThePrint can be accessed here.

Media coverage of the panel discussion can be read below:

Videos of other panel discussions organised as part of CPR Dialogues 2020 can be found below:


The views shared belong to individual faculty and researchers and do not represent an institutional stance on the issue.