Since a few years, the south Indian State of Andhra Pradesh has received a lot of attention, both in the Indian as well as in the international media. This state has made relatively good use of the new economic climate that has developed in the 1990s. A new type of dynamic leadership has come up, and in various policy areas innovative legislation has been formulated and new policies have been developed and pursued with great zeal. The interpretations of what is going on vary, however, enormously. The government itself claims that it is more performance oriented, aims to \"keep politics away from policy\", and enhances professionalism in governance. The opponents of the regime claim that there is a lot of gimmicks and that not much is happening in actual practice. This paper, which is work in progress, tries to interpret the developments in Andhra Pradesh. After a short general review of some of the literature on policy processes, focusing particularly on the role of politics in policy processes, the paper describes the specificities of the policy process in Andhra Pradesh. Three main characteristics are highlighted, namely (a) the 'hype and hide' strategy of the AP government, (b) centralisation of policy making process, and (c) the way in which policy implementation is used for local level party building. The paper concludes with a few emerging contradictions in the AP policy process.
Mooij, J. Smart Governance: Politics in the Policy Process in Andhra Pradesh, India. (2003) 28 pp.