Author: Narendar Pani
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0761995803
Arguing that pragmatism is no solution and that instead there is the need to fashion a more systematic method of economic analysis, this path breaking book uses Gandhi's economic ideas to evolve such a method.
The collapse of ideology in the post-communist world has led economic policy makers to lose faith in large ideological models. The resulting dominance of pragmatism has enabled the justification of virtually any combination of policies but without a cogent analytical framework. Arguing that pragmatism is no solution and that instead there is the need to fashion a more systematic method of economic analysis, this path breaking book uses Gandhi's voluminous writings, Narendar Pani demonstrates that it adequately addresses many of the methodological concerns of contemporary policy making.
The book begins by setting out certain premises of the Gandhian method in general, followed by its specific form in economics. It examines the primacy Gandhi gave to action and his consequentialist and inclusive approach to evaluating an action. The development of this method involves addressing issues such as the nature of truth and the role of subjectivity. The book then explores the tools Gandhi developed to make inclusiveness viable in real life situations, including his concepts of Swadeshi and Trusteeship.
Dr Pani also analyses how inclusive economics responds to the methodological issues that arise during the formulation and implementation of a policy. Some of these are the demarcation question, the role of economic models, and the use of rhetoric. Finally, in order to illustrate the departure from economic conventions which the adoption of this method necessitates, Dr Pani outlines a Gandhian alternative to the main policy statement that initiated economic reforms in India in 1991. Among the conventions the book challenges are the focus on national economies, the role of specialization, the role of specialization, the preoccupation with growth, the emphasis on ideology, as well as the conventional perception of the nature of a firm. Consistent with its advocacy of an inclusive approach to economic analysis, the book covers a wide canvas, and in doing so shows that the Gandhian method is inclusive enough to deal with both the known and the unknown. It also reduces the scope for expediency and, hence, is a method best suited to the requirements of policy makers in the current scenario.
Original and challenging in its approach, this timely book will be of interest to students and scholars of Gandhian thought, economic methodology, economics and political science, as well as those engaged in economic policy making.
The Case for Inclusiveness
Primacy of Action
Improving Subjectivity /The concept of Knowledge/ Truth and Faith/ Evaluating an Action
Choice of Objectives/ Trusteeship/ Swadeshi/ Choice of Actions/ Gandhi and his Methods
Choice of the Problem/ Models and Explanation/ The Demarcation Question/ Dealing with Subjectivity/ The Challenge of Rhetoric/ The Role of Interpretation/ Method of Intervention/ Approaches of Conflict
Departure from Convention
The National Economy/ The Institutional Framework/ The Preoccupation with Growth/ Consequences versus Key Factors/ Absorbing Specialization/ The Ideological Divide/ The Individual and the Firm/ The Gandhian Corporation/ Combating Expediency
The Indian Budget of July 1991/ A Methodological Critique/ A Gandhian Alternative
About the Author