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Strategy and vision in politics [Elektronische Ressource] : Jawaharlal Nehru's policy choices and the designing of political institutions / vorgelegt von Jivanta Schöttli

522 pages
Strategy and Vision in Politics. Jawaharlal Nehru’s policy choices and the designing of political institutions. Inauguraldissertation zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Dr. rer. pol. im Fach Politikwissenschaft vorgelegt von: JIVANTA SCHÖTTLI, M.Sc. Eingereicht an der Fakultät für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften der Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg im Sommer Semester 2009 Strategy and Vision in Politics. Jawaharlal Nehru’s policy choices and the designing of political institutions. Inauguraldissertation zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Dr. rer. pol. im Fach Politikwissenschaft vorgelegt von: JIVANTA SCHÖTTLI, M.Sc. Eingereicht an der Fakultät für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften der Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg im Sommer Semester 2009 DOCTORVATER: Prof. SUBRATA K. MITRA, Ph.D. (Rochester) Contents List of Figures & Tables vi. Chapter One: The art and craft of policy-making. 1.1. The Problem Stated 1 - 4 1.2. Research Design 5 - 10 1.3. Modernisation, political development and political disorder in political science 10 - 29 1.4. Nehruana literature 30 -43 1.5. Conclusion 44 – 47 Chapter Two: Epistemology, Theory and Methodology. 2.1. Introduction 48 - 49 2.2. Rationality, methodological individualism and the ‘Cunning of Reason’ 49 - 54 2.3.
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Strategy and Vision in Politics.
Jawaharlal Nehru’s policy choices and
the designing of political institutions.


Inauguraldissertation
zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Dr. rer. pol.
im Fach Politikwissenschaft
vorgelegt von:

JIVANTA SCHÖTTLI, M.Sc.

Eingereicht an der
Fakultät für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften
der Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
im Sommer Semester 2009
Strategy and Vision in Politics.
Jawaharlal Nehru’s policy choices and
the designing of political institutions.

Inauguraldissertation
zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Dr. rer. pol.
im Fach Politikwissenschaft
vorgelegt von:
JIVANTA SCHÖTTLI, M.Sc.
Eingereicht an der
Fakultät für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften
der Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
im Sommer Semester 2009

DOCTORVATER:
Prof. SUBRATA K. MITRA, Ph.D. (Rochester)




Contents

List of Figures & Tables vi.
Chapter One: The art and craft of policy-making.
1.1. The Problem Stated 1 - 4
1.2. Research Design 5 - 10
1.3. Modernisation, political development and political disorder in
political science 10 - 29
1.4. Nehruana literature 30 -43
1.5. Conclusion 44 – 47

Chapter Two: Epistemology, Theory and Methodology.
2.1. Introduction 48 - 49
2.2. Rationality, methodological individualism and the ‘Cunning of Reason’ 49 - 54
2.3. New Institutionalism & Path Dependence:
explaining inefficiencies in history 54 - 60
2.4. The Analytic Narrative and Historical Institutionalism 60 - 68
2.5. Path Dependency and Policy Studies 68 - 70
2.6. Designing a model: vision and strategy in policy-making 70 - 71
2.6.1. The Puzzle: designing stable institutions in times of change 72 - 74
2.6.2. The Hypothesis: vision and strategy as inputs 75 - 81
2.6.3. The Explanandum: policy outcomes and institutional resilience 82 - 87
2.6.4. The Unit of Analysis: three cases of policy-making 87 - 88
2.6.5. The Sources for data collection 88 - 89
2.7. Conclusion: the methodological challenges of working
on a historical figure 89 – 92

 
Chapter Three: Nehru, his world view.
3.1. Introduction 93 - 96
3.2. Nehru’s Formative Phase 96 - 113
3.3. Intellectual Context 113 - 117
3.4. The Cognitive Maps of Political Elites 117 - 121
3.4.1. Nehru on Religion and Secularism 121 - 133
3.4.2. Nehru on Economic Development and Socialism 133 - 140
3.4.3. Nehru on Foreign policy and Internationalism 140 - 148
3.4. Conclusion: operationalising a cognitive map 148 - 150

Chapter Four: Contextualising Nehru:
his contemporaries and ‘the structure of opportunities’.
4.1. Introduction 151 - 153
4.2. Organisation of the Indian National Congress 153 - 158
4.3. Nehru as Congress President:
a content analysis of his presidential addresses. 158 - 171
4.4. Nehru’s Contemporaries 171 - 175
4.4.1. Rajendra Prasad 175 - 180
4.4.2. Subhas Chandra Bose 180 – 188
4.4.3. Vallabhbhai Patel 188 - 192
4.5. Consolidating Power: the struggle for dominance 192
4.5.1. Nehru’s position within the INC: 1947 – 1955 192 - 196
4.5.2. Nehru as political entrepreneur: transforming the
Congress-led movement into a political party. 196 - 204
4.6. Conclusion 205 – 206

ii 
 
Chapter Five: The Planning Commission
5.1. Introduction: the Puzzle 207 - 212
5.2. Pre-history: the Origins of Planning in India 212 - 222
5.3. The Structure of Opportunities at the time of the
Constituent Assembly Debates 223 - 227
5.4. The Planning Commission: an analytic narrative of original intentions,
functions and the constraints on institution building 227 - 242
5.5. Vision and Strategy in the framing of the First and
Second Five Year Plans 242
5.5.1. The First Five Year Plan: negotiated consensus 242 - 245
5.5.2. The Second Five Year Plan: “the adoption of the
socialist pattern of society as the national objective” 245 - 254
5.6. Analyzing the political origins of planning in India 254 - 262
5.7. Conclusion: the Planning Commission as a repository of values 262 - 265

Chapter Six: The Panchasheela Agreement.
6.1. Introduction: the Puzzle 266 - 271
6.2. Pre-history: British India’s foreign policy 272 - 274
6.3. Nehru on foreign affairs: the Constituent Assembly Debates 275 - 276
6.4. The discourse on foreign policy: alternatives to and critics of Nehru 276 - 285
6.5. The Panchasheela Agreement: an analytic narrative of institutions, functions
and constraints. 285 - 292

6.6. The Implications of Panchasheela 293 – 295


iii 
 6.7. Analysing the Origins of the Panchasheela Agreement 296
6.7.1. K.M.Panikkar 296 - 299
6.7.2. T.N.Kaul 299 -301
6.7.3. Krishna Menon 302 - 306
6.8. Conclusion: Vision and Strategy in the Panchaseela Agreement 306 – 310

Chapter Seven: the Hindu Code Bills.
7.1. Introduction: the Puzzle 311 – 315
7.2. Pre-history: Personal Law and Codification under the British 315 – 318
7.3. Secularism and Social Reform in Nehru’s Vision of modern India 318 – 322
7.4. The Discourse on Codification 322
7.4.1 The Constituent Assembly Debates 322 – 330
7.4.2 The Interim Legislative Assembly 330 – 332
7.5. The Structure of Opportunities surrounding the Hindu Code 332
7.5.1 The First Lok Sabha (17 April 1952 – 4 April 1957) 332 – 341
7.5.2. Nehru’s Changing Position 341 – 349
7.6. The Substance and Implications of the Hindu Code 349 – 354
7.8. Conclusion. The Hindu Code legacy: a triumph of strategy over vision? 354 – 358

Chapter 8: Conclusion.
8.1. The shelf life of Nehru’s Institutions:
a comparative study of the three policies. 359 - 369
8.2. Methodological individualism and rationality as heuristic devices:
Nehru as political actor. 370 – 372
8.3. An analytic narrative of institution formation: vision and strategy
in the making of Nehru’s policies. 373 – 376
iv 
 8.4. Key Findings of the thesis. 377
8.4.1. Path dependence and the origins of institutions 377
8.4.2. Institutional change and development 377 – 380
8.5. Nehru as a case study: leadership, policy-making and the analysis
of politics. 380 – 383

Methodoligical Note on Sources 385
Biblography 385 – 400
Appendix: list of documents 401 – 402


















 List of Figures & Tables
Figure 1: Model of policy-making
Figure 2: Path dependency of policy choices.
Figure 3: Organigram of Congress Organisational Structure
Figure 4: Organigram of Congress Organisation (based on 1951 Congress Party Constitution)

Table 1: Context and Chronology
Table 2: Nehru’s Presidential Addresses
Table 3: Key Congress Party Resolutions
Table 4: Nehru and his contemporaries
Table 5: Phases in the process towards planning
Table 6: The Changing Structure of Opportunities and Nehru’s Strategy in Foreign Policy.
Table 7: The Hindu Code and existing legislation
Table 8: The Changing Structure of Opportunities and the Hindu Code Bills.
Table 9: The shelf life of Nehru’s Institutions: the Planning Commission, Panchasheela and
the Hindu Code Bills.
Table 10: The Process behind Nehru’s Policies
vi 
 
Chapter One
The art and craft of policy-making.

1.1. The Problem Stated.
1.2. Research Design.
1.3. Modernisation, political development and political disorder in political science.
1.4. Nehruana literature.
1.5. Conclusion.


1.1. The Problem Stated.

This thesis seeks to analyse the art and craft of policy-making. By focusing on Indian
Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, the aim is to take both actor and context seriously. Nehru,
who led the country for seventeen years, initially as head of the interim legislature (1947 –
1952) and then winning general elections three times (1952, 1957, 1961), was also leader of
the Indian National Congress party in addition to holding other ministerial posts during his
prime ministership. Having spent altogether more than nine years imprisoned during the
1independence struggle and anointed as successor to Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru attained a
larger than life stature in Indian politics. The impact he had, has been long-lasting and far-
reaching. His admirers and critics alike, attribute the resilience of India’s democracy to his

1 On December 6, 1921, Jawaharlal Nehru was arrested for the first time, along with his father, Motilal Nehru.
Jawaharlal was briefly released and then re-arrested. Motilal was released in 1922 while Jawaharlal was released
on January 31, 1923. Other periods of jail sentence followed: October 19, 1930 – January 1931; December 26,
1931 to August 30, 1933; February 12, 1934 – September 1935; November 1940 – December 1941; August
1942 – June 1945.
1
stewardship during the crucial decades after independence, from the years 1947 to 1964.
However, as will be demonstrated the existing literature on Nehru tends to be narrative at best
and sycophantic at worst. Furthermore, there is surprisingly little that deals with the 1950s in
an analytic and systematic way, a period which would seem to be a crucial phase in the
transition from colony to post-colonial state with important implications for the long-run
consolidation of India’s modern, democratic institutions. Addressing this gap, the thesis
proposes an interpretation based upon a theoretical framework where the individual actor’s
choices are set within a specific institutional context. Nehru is the ‘pivotal actor’ given the
2power he gradually accumulated and thus his preferences, world view and ‘vision’ need to
be explored in depth and detail. He cannot however, be seen in isolation for both during the
formative phase prior to independence and as prime minister, contextual constraints need to
be taken into account. This is where the existing literature is again disappointing for there are
3only scattered examinations of the power politics at the time of independence. Nehru’s
position of power was by no means guaranteed and translating his preferences into policy
required both tactical manoeuvring and bargaining. The goal of the thesis therefore is to turn
attention towards Nehru, the political actor, to identify the challenges that he faced, the
strategies that were devised to maintain, enhance and project power, and in the process, the
impact this had on the policies that were formulated and implemented under his leadership.

The thesis selects three policy choices for which Jawaharlal Nehru can be personally
associated with and which also represent the three core pillars of Nehru’s overall
modernization project: the secular state, a non-aligned foreign policy, and a self-sufficient

2 Jawaharlal Nehru was the prime minister of India from August 15, 1947 till his death in May 1964. During this
time he also held the positions of Minister for External Affairs of India (for the entire period) and Finance
Minister of India for one year (1958 – 1959), in addition to acting as chairperson on numerous committees and
organisations and most importantly, serving as president of the Indian National Congress party on three
occasions after independence (1951, 53 and 54).
3 See section 1.4. for a literature review of the publications on Jawaharlal Nehru.
2

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