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Allen, Zoe (1969) Ideological factors in selected fields of policy-making in India. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The thesis deals with the relationship between ideology and policy-making. The main concern is the development of agrarian policy in India since Independence, but this topic necessarily has roots and ramifications which extend much further, both backwards into time and laterally into other aspects of policy. The aim is also to consider how relevant are various sociological definitions of, and approaches to, ideology, for dealing with the problem of its relationship to policymaking. The question of whether ideology is to be defined as manifest doctrine, or as underlying and possibly implicit evaluative assumption, is as important as whether ideology is to be interpreted primarily in a psychological, social structural or functional 'systems' context. An application of some of these approaches to the successive stages of political debate in India shows that no one type of approach can by itself adequately account for the nature of prevailing ideology and its relationship to policy or potential policy. But the various approaches may be subdivided and combined to provide ideal-type characterisations of the way in which ideology plays an active role in political situations. It appears, however, that in such ideal-types the elements of a power - or structure - based interpretation of ideology tend to dominate. Finally, there is the problem of how the changing nature of 'official' ideology and policy in India, manifested in the swing from an advocacy of relatively socialist to relatively 'pragmatic' solutions, is to be described. There is a danger of constructing a false dichotomy between 'ideology' on the one hand and 'pragmatism' on the other. This can only be resolved by looking at the way in which the role of ideology has changed over time, and especially in the context of the rising and declining power of Congress and the Government.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:14

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