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Chapter: 11th Political Science : Chapter 2 : State

Concept of Over Developed State

Almost all the States of South Asia are modern democracies.

Concept of Over Developed State

Almost all the States of South Asia are modern democracies. Yet, what makes them lag behind the western countries in development? When the institutions of governance such as the Parliament, the bureaucracy, and the planning machinery are imported and customized during colonial times, why is it that development is a slow process in these countries? Hamza Alawi, explains the case of the gover nability crisis of Pakistan and Bangladesh using the concept of Over Developed State 


Overdeveloped State is an explanation offered to the ineffectiveness of the functioning of post-colonial States that operate with the similar structure of bureaucratic governance before and after their independence. Despite political liberation, the transformative approach did not percolate down the administrative structure of the States after they emerged free from the colonial yoke. The colonial powers of western Europe maintained double standards in designing the polity of the colonized States. When their respective States recognized political life, liberty and economic freedom of its citizens and in total the State was like a pet for its people, on the contrast the States were over centralized with unquestionable power in the colonized States. Such an arrangement was congenial to the colonizers to have unfretted siphoning of wealth from their colonies. This massive exploitation was effectively engineered by the bureaucracy that continued the colonial legacy even after independence with no or little change in the attitude of the political class that replaced the colonial masters.

When the State gets increasingly modernized when the society and its economy are lagging behind without modernization the State and the society grossly mismatched each other. This creates a divide between the people and the State’s apparatus. What is good for people are not decided by them in a representative democracy but by an influential few. In the case of Pakistan and Bangladesh, Hamza Alawai coins the word ‘military bureaucracy oligarchy’ that is similar to the license raj of India and over-centralization as a continuation of colonial legacy that has been constantly addressed by the government of India.


Try watching the Tamil movie “Thanneer Thanneer” Discuss the theme of the movie.

Tamil Movie “Thanneer Thanneer”

A small village in Tamil Nadu faces water scarcity. The film highlights the plight of the villagers and the sufferings they endure at the hands of bureaucrats when they try to resolve their problem.

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