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Liberalization, State Patronage, and the "New Inequality" in South Asia

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This article sketches some of the more discernible effects of neoliberalism on South Asia's political economy with an emphasis especially on the ambivalent status of neoliberalism in the context of state patronage. The first part of the article examines the rise of a new convergence amongst state managers and social groups over the desirability of neoliberal reforms. Following this analysis of the emerging convergence around neoliberal reforms and the diminished role of the state, the second part of the article focuses on the opposition to neoliberalism and the emerging compromise amongst different political constituencies. Finally, the last part of the article offers some tentative conclusions regarding new vectors of polarization and politics in the region.

Affiliations: 1: School of International Service, American University, Washington, D.C. 20016, U.S.A.


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