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Vivek Chibber Award Statement

Honorable mention is given to Vivek Chibber’s book, Locked in Place: State Building and Late Industrialization in India. Locked in Place examines the role of elite entrepreneurs in class development. Using the cases of India and Korea, the book shows the significant role of industrialists in resisting or facilitating state development. The argument, based on detailed comparative histories, shows the central role of capital in state formation while also revealing the structural forces that shape the class and state relations.

Professor Chibber (Ph.D., M.A., University of Wisconsin, B.A. Northwestern University) is Associate Professor Sociology at New York University. His research interests are in economic sociology, development, Marxian theory, political sociology, and comparative-historical sociology. His prior work has focused on the role of the state in economic development. Specifically, Chibber has examined the conditions under which state-building can be successful in late-developing countries. He has also published in the dynamics of long-term historical change in South Asia and on the plausibility of the Marxian theory of history.

His current research continues some of the themes pursued thus far, while also taking on some new ones. He is engaged in a project that compares the political economy of late development in the twentieth century with late development in the nineteenth century. It is widely recognized that in both periods, the state played a central role in fostering development. But the kinds of class alliances that supported state intervention did not remain the same, nor did the kinds of tasks that states took upon themselves. This difference in the political underpinnings of late development created a strikingly different set of constraints on state action across the two centuries, as well as opening up new possibilities . Through investigating how these dynamics have changed over time, Chibber proposes to historicize our understanding of state-led development.

In a second project, related to the first, Chibber is doing research on the emergence of neo-liberalism as a global project in the 1970s and 1980s. While there is an emerging body of work tracing the rise of a conservative and free-market economic agenda in U.S. domestic policy, the process through which it was settled upon as an arm of foreign policy in the same period has not received very much attention. He plans to examine how the set of policies known as the Washington Consensus became central to U.S. economic diplomacy and the process through which it was implanted in key developing countries.