Conflicts over natural resources abound in India, where much of the population is dependent on these resources for their livelihoods. Issues of governance and management are complicated by the competing claims of parallel legal systems, including state, customary, religious, project and local laws.
Whereas much has been written about property rights, this unique collection takes a legal anthropological perspective to explore how the coexistence and interaction between multiple legal orders provide bases for claiming property rights. It examines how hybrid legal institutions have developed over time in India and how these impact on justice in the governance and distribution of natural resources. The book brings together original case studies that offer fresh perspectives on the governance of forests, water, fisheries and agricultural land in a diverse range of social and spatial contexts.
This brand new research provides a timely and persuasive overview of the fundamental role of parallel legal systems in shaping how people manage natural resources. It will be of interest to scholars and practitioners of environmental law, property law, environmental politics, anthropology, sociology and geography.
"Looking at natural resources from the perspective of legal pluralism provides important insights into the possibilities and constraints of governance. Showing how actors navigate through the confusing webs of law in their struggles for land, water, forest, and fisheries, the book is a must for anyone interested in natural resource management."
Keebet von Benda-Beckmann, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany
"Bavinck and Jyotishi have brought together an excellent group of authors who offer critical perspectives and new insights into the relevance of the legal pluralism perspective in the context of conflict over natural resources in India. This edited volume contributes to the debate on critical questions arising in the field of natural resource governance and will be of enormous value to scholars, practitioners and policy makers across the world."
Merle Sowman, University of Cape Town, South Africa
"This book is a timely focus on issues of conflict and governance over forests and fisheries in India. Several case studies examine legal pluralism as an alternative perspective for both the cause of conflicts and a potential solution, suggesting governability to diffuse potentially damaging social and environmental consequences. Recommended reading for law-makers and law-breakers."
Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul, University of Delhi, India
"This edited volume is a timely and important contribution to the study of the role of legal pluralism in natural resources management and governance in India, and debates about legal pluralism and governance more generally. (…) On the whole, this interesting book provides a major stimulus for expanding research on legal pluralism in India (and elsewhere) and for continuing the debates about legal pluralism, natural resources and governance."
Dik Roth, Sociology of Development and Change Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Preface 1. Introduction: The Legal Pluralism Perspective Maarten Bavinck and Amalendu Jyotishi 2. Law-breakers and Law-makers: Critical Legal Pluralism, Normative Subjects and Ecological Regimes in India D. Parthasarathy 3. The Godavarman Judgment: Erasing the Plurality of Land Use in Gudalur, Nilgiris Ajit Menon 4. Unearthing the Roots of Statutory Forest Law: Iron Smelting and the State in Pre- and Early Colonial India Sashi Sivramkrishna and Amalendu Jyotishi 5. Land, Law and Resistance: Legal Pluralism and Tribal Conflicts over Land Alienation in Odisha Satyapriya Rout 6. Community Rights and Statutory Laws: Politics of Forest in Uttarakhand, Himalayas Pampa Mukherjee 7. Handling Fishery Conflicts in the Context of Legal Pluralism - A Case-Study Analysis of Street-Level Bureaucracy in Tamil Nadu, India Maarten Bavinck 8. A Political Ecology of Legal Plural Disconnection in the Marine Fishery of Junagadh District, Gujarat, India Derek Johnson 9. Institutional Pluralism, Multilevel Arrangements and Polycentrism: The Case of Chilika Lagoon, India Prateep Kumar Nayak 10. Legal Pluralism and the Governability of Fisheries and Coastal Systems in the World - A Conceptual Enquiry Svein Jentoft