Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Dialectics of Motivation and Action: A Look into the ‘Why’ of the “Kerala Model”

Pillai N., Vijayamohanan (2018): The Dialectics of Motivation and Action: A Look into the ‘Why’ of the “Kerala Model”.

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The so-called “Kerala Model” had generated a lot of energy in both academic and political circles in diverse degrees of appreciation and apprehension. The present paper argues that it was the political will that prevailed over the constraints of economic capability in bringing about wonders in Kerala. This political will sums up the spirit of public action, involving both the demand and supply forces: organized public demand and willing state provision. And this in turn is made possible by a historical conjunction of complementary interaction between an objective enabling environment and a subjective receptivity, the motivations of the agents, here the state and the public, to act. Kerala today presents a positive organic system of interactive development forces – a sort of cumulative causation through a ‘chain interaction’: human development → economic growth → further human development. The initial objective reality in Kerala, to be precise, in the then princely States of Travancore and Cochin, corresponded to a state of flux in which the old order was fast falling under the pressure of the social-economic changes brought about by monetisation and commercialisation, nascent industrialisation and proletarianization of the working mass. The freedom struggle imparted the inevitable political dimension to this flux. Interacting in/with this objectivity condition in a complementary coupling is the motivational receptivity of the agents to development.

Given the absence of an analytical interpretation of this dynamic process, the present author sought to explore the ‘how’ of this development in 2003 in terms of a human rights perspective of ‘norms-rights transition process’ through public action: norms are progressively realised on a time-bound priority basis to form an ever-expanding set of rights through public action. This highlights the significance of the role of a willing state in opening up opportunities, that is, creating capabilities, in response to a pressuring public demand. Here individual freedom is taken up as a social commitment. Following this interpretation, the present paper attempts to look into the ‘why’ of the dynamics of “Kerala Model”.

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