Rethinking International Development series

Social Movements and the State in India

Deepening Democracy?

Editors: Nielsen, Kenneth, Nilsen, Alf (Eds.)

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    • Scrutinises the aids and constraints that social movements face in advancing collective projects
    • Offers rich and stimulating accounts engaging with the broader question of democracy in India across a range of sites of contention
    • Gives a broad thematic coverage of the implications of past and present struggles for the nature of India's democracy

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eBook $109.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-59133-3
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Hardcover $149.99
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-59132-6
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About this book

Questions of the extent to which social movements are capable of deepening democracy in India lie at the heart of this book. In particular, the authors ask how such movements can enhance the political capacities of subaltern groups and thereby enable them to contest and challenge marginality, stigma, and exploitation. The work addresses these questions through detailed empirical analyses of contemporary fields of protest in Indian society – ranging from gender and caste to class and rights-based legislation. Drawing on the original research of a variety of emerging and established international scholars, the volume contributes to an engaged dialogue on the prospects for democratizing Indian democracy in a context where neoliberal reforms fuel a contradictory process of uneven development.   

About the authors

Kenneth Bo Nielsen is an anthropologist working at the Department of Sociology at the University of Bergen, Norway, and also coordinates the Norwegian Network for Asian Studies, hosted by the University of Oslo’s Centre for Development and the Environment. His current research focuses on social movements and land dispossession in India.

Alf Gunvald Nilsen is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Bergen, Norway, and Senior Visiting Researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. His work focuses on social movements in the global South, with a particular concentration on India. 

Reviews

“Social Movements and the State in India is a model for social movement analysis, situating multiple struggles within a sustained analysis of the trajectory of the Indian state in the shadow of neoliberalism. In a well-coordinated set of historical, international, regional, and ethnographic approaches, this volume offers nuanced accounts of the possibilities of political democracy across Indian time and space, and a promising template for future comparative research.” (Philip McMichael, Cornell University, USA)

“This timely book provides an insightful understanding of the way in which Indian democracy has been shaped by the mutual interaction of social movements and the state in the 21st century. Avoiding simplistic assumptions, with contributions by fresh scholars, and covering a range of social movements – from farmer’s and women’s movement to struggles for rights-based legislation and its implementation to labour and the Maoist movement -  this volume will be widely welcomed by all those interested in questions of power, political economy and social change.” (Nandini Sundar, Delhi School of Economics, India)

“This anthology focuses on the contemporary social movements of subalterns seeking a space in a democratic system which has increasingly been geared to serve neoliberal economic agenda. The scholars critically examine to what extent social movements have been capable of deepening democracy in such a way as to enhance the political capacities of subaltern groups and thereby enable them to contest and challenge marginality, stigma, and exploitation. The various chapters provide rich and stimulating accounts of the struggles of the India’s poor and deprived communities for their rights and to carve out space in the system. The book will be valuable to all who are concerned with understanding nature and extent of deepening of democracy beyond formal elections.” (Ghanshyam Shah, Centre for Social Studies, Surat, India)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Table of contents (12 chapters)
  • Social Movements, State Formation and Democracy in India: An Introduction

    Nilsen, Alf Gunvald (et al.)

    Pages 1-23

  • The Slow-Motion Counterrevolution: Developmental Contradictions and the Emergence of Neoliberalism

    Desai, Radhika

    Pages 25-51

  • The Politics of Caste and the Deepening of India’s Democracy: The Case of the Backward Caste Movement in Bihar

    Witsoe, Jeffrey

    Pages 53-73

  • Transnational Dalit Feminists In Between the Indian State, the UN and the Global Justice Movement

    Hardtmann, Eva-Maria

    Pages 75-92

  • Feminist Efforts to Democratize Democracy: Insights from Four Decades of Activism in India

    Desai, Manisha

    Pages 93-113

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59133-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $149.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59132-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Social Movements and the State in India
Book Subtitle
Deepening Democracy?
Editors
  • Kenneth Nielsen
  • Alf Nilsen
Series Title
Rethinking International Development series
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-59133-3
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-59133-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-59132-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 297
Number of Illustrations
2 b/w illustrations
Topics