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Building Legitimacy: Exploring State-Society Relations in Northeast India
by:M. Sajjad Hassan
This study compares two states in the Northeastern region--a relatively orderly Mizoram and a troubled Manipur--in order to understand the sources of political turmoil in many parts of the region. Hassan argues that the sharp division between the valley and the hill in Manipur is absent in Mizoram. Whereas in Manipur the state is peripheral to people's...
This study compares two states in the Northeastern region--a relatively orderly Mizoram and a troubled Manipur--in order to understand the sources of political turmoil in many parts of the region. Hassan argues that the sharp division between the valley and the hill in Manipur is absent in Mizoram. Whereas in Manipur the state is peripheral to people's lives, in Mizoram the state is central to people's lives. According to the author the reasons why the two states developed such different state institutions are mostly historical. He rejects the theory that the Northeast is monolithic and draws upon a range of debates to explain the primary motivation for conflict. There is a strong accent on traditional state function. Mizoram is successful in monopolizing the legitimate use of violence and in raising revenues (traditional prerogatives of states) while in Manipur there are competing claimants to the use of force and revenue extraction. Thus, in Manipur the legitimacy of the state is in crisis while successful states like Mizoram widen their range of functions once their legitimacy is validated.
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