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Class, power, and patronage: landowners and politics in Punjab

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In the century following their conquest of the province, the British in Punjab erected an administrative apparatus that, like those of precolonial regimes, relied heavily upon the support of the province's landed class. The relationship between the landed class and the colonial state was one of mutual benefit, with the latter using the former to ensure the maintenance of order and collection of revenue in exchange for state patronage. In this paper, it is argued that this administrative framework gave rise to a path-dependent process of institutional development in Punjab, allowing for the different fractions of the province's landowning class to increasingly entrench themselves within the political order in the postcolonial epoch. This paper outlines the mechanisms underlying this process of institutional development, focusing, in particular, on the strategies adopted by the landowning class to reproduce its power. This paper also considers the potentialities for institutional change in Punjab, allowing for the creation of a more democratic and participatory politics in the province.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/38602/

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