India’s Market Society: Three Essays in Political Economy


Barbara Harriss-White

Paperback    9788188789208


Barbara Harriss-White’s work breaks new ground in showing how non-market and non-state institutions shape India’s market society.



The first essay focuses on markets for land, labour and the ‘essential commodities’ of staple food and contextualises the non-market, non-state institutions in the ground realities of the regulative behaviour of the Indian state.  The send essay examines caste and shows how caste and religion are being reworked in the contemporary era to ensure the subservience of small town economies to the interests of big capital and imperialist globalisation.


The third essay looks into the implications of India’s religious pluralism for her economy, and discusses an important issue – where India’s minorities are sited in the economy.   The author examines the ground realities of the markets which form the building blocks of Indian capitalism and the attendant crisis of democracy and the deprivations of the people.


The linkages between small town economies and the workings of capital come alive in her analysis.




  1. Preamble
  2. Market Romanticism and India’s Regulative Order
  3. Caste‑Corporatist Capitalism : Civil Society and Accumulation (with Elisabetta Basile)
  4. India’s Religions and the Economy


Barbara Harriss-White has been Professor of Development Studies at Queen Elizabeth House and Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford University, UK. Since 1969 she has researched agrarian change in South Asia through field studies of villages, small town economies and markets. In recent years her focus has been on dalits in Indian economy, on which she has lectured and initiated workshops both in India and in England.

She has authored 14 books, edited 10 books, 11 major reports (research consultancies), 122 chapters in books, 3 encyclopedia, 53 papers in journals, 35 working papers.

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Barbara Harriss-White

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Three Essays Collective





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