Planned Democracy: Citizenship, Development, and the Practices of Planning in Independent India, 1947-1967


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




From 1950, the Planning Commission of India negotiated a unique marriage between parliamentary democracy and centralized economic planning—precisely when the Cold War made them seem fundamentally incompatible. This project argues that India’s Five Year Plans were more than a means of regulating an economy; planning was, in fact, an expansive project to shape the nature of Indian democracy and society. It proves that planning was simultaneously a technocratic exercise in directing the economy, a means of modern state building, and an attempt at a state-directed social transformation. Placing India within global debates on development, it maps the transnational flows of ideas, individuals, and institutions among India, the United States, Europe, and the Soviet Union.