State, Scale and Networks in the Liberalisation of India’s Land

Date: Apr, 2016
ODID Working Paper No. 207
Author(s): Nikita Sud

As states concentrate their developmental capacities in space, the sub-national scale has emerged as a focal point of policy-making in India. The rescaled spatiality of the state is being inscribed on land. Land is the primary resource available to sub-national states to attract private investment in post-reform contexts. Yet, the promulgation of innovative policies is only the start of the space-state relationship. This paper follows rescaled state policy through to its reception and appropriation by business, community and family networks that operate in the real estate industry, which is a major land user. Dynamic multi-dimensional spatial relations involving scales and networks do not engage with a staid, centralised, formal state. Instead, real estate firms work with a state that is itself networked, and that straddles formality and informality, as well as shadows. India’s land economy is animated in this teeming space of state, scale and networks.

ODID Author(s)