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Prabhat Patnaik

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Prabhat Patnaik

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Prabhat Patnaik

The fact that several third world countries, especially in Asia, have experienced remarkably high rates of gross domestic product (GDP) growth has been a matter of much discussion. There has been talk of a development of ‘multi-polarity’ in the world, a shift in the balance of economic power from the West to the East, and even an overtaking of the traditional metropolitan economies by the newly emerging ones. India has been one of these high-growth economies, and has been branded as an ‘emerging economic superpower’ by many writers both within and outside the country. But even if we leave aside the very recent slowdown in the Indian economy, which is a result inter alia of the world capitalist crisis and which has nevertheless left the country with a fairly respectable GDP growth rate to date, and focus on the high growth phase that preceded this slowdown, the fact remains that this high growth has been accompanied by such an increase in economic inequality and such a process of ‘social retrogression’ that the country faces the real threat of social disintegration.

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Prabhat Patnaik and Jayati Ghosh