Displacement and Resettlement in India: The Human Cost of Development, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Displacement and Resettlement in India

The Human Cost of Development, 1st Edition

By Hari Mohan Mathur


228 pages

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In the past ten years or so, displacement by development projects has gone on almost untamed under the globalization pressures to meet the demand for land from local and increasingly foreign investors. Focusing on India, this book looks at the complex issue of resettling people who are displaced for the sake of development.

The book discusses how the affected farming communities are fiercely opposing the development projects that often leave them worse off than before, and how this conflict is a matter of serious concern for the planners, as it could discourage potential capital inflows and put India’s growth trajectory into jeopardy. It analyses the challenge of protecting the interests of farmers, and at the same time ensuring that these issues do not hinder the path of development. The book goes on to highlight the emerging approaches to resettlement that promise a more equitable development outcome.

A timely analysis of displacement and resettlement, this book has an appeal beyond South Asian Studies alone. It is of interest to policy makers, planners, administrators, and scholars in the field of resettlement and development studies.


‘This volume is an outstanding contribution from India to the international scholarship in the domain of development-caused displacement and resettlement. A richly packed idea resource, this will be indispensable for development practitioners, as well as researchers and students of resettlement, social sciences and development studies everywhere, not in India alone.’

Michael M. Cernea, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, USA, and Former Senior Adviser for Social Policies in the World Bank

‘Displacement of people for "development projects" is the unseemly part of the modern growth story. People have been forced to relocate not once, but even twice and thrice in some cases. This analysis will help us understand the pain of humans displaced from their lands and homes and the policy we must seek for future growth for all.’

Sunita Narain, Director-General, Centre for Science and Environment, India

‘Clearly written, this significant new work presents a strong case for resettlement planning that seeks to improve the lives of those displaced by planned developments. The work has a global focus, whilst enriched specifically by the case of India.’

Susanna K Price, Visiting Fellow, Australian National University and Former Principal Safeguard Specialist in Asian Development Bank

‘Professor Mathur has been at the forefront of studies on development and resettlement. This new volume provides a welcome reflection on current trends and will serve as an important reference guide for students and those dealing with resettlement issues.’

David Marsden, Research Associate, University of London, UK, and Former Principal Social Development Specialist for the South Asia Region of the World Bank

Table of Contents

Introduction: Displacement and Resettlement in the Development Process Part 1: Displacement by Development 1. Not by Dams Alone: Urban Development Projects and Displacement of Slum Dwellers 2. Mining Coal, Undermining People: Flawed Resettlement Leaves Displaced People Worse Off 3. Common Development Disorders: Impoverishment Risks from Projects that Involve Displacement Part 2: The Policy Response 4. Good Intentions are not Enough: The World Bank Policy on Involuntary Resettlement 5. Providing a Better Life for Displaced People: National Policy Guidelines on Involuntary Resettlement Part 3: Approaches to Resettlement 6. Social Impact Assessment: An Aid to Understanding the Likely Effects of a Proposed Intervention 7. Making Resettlement Work: Issues in Planning and Implementation 8. New Livelihoods for Old: Restoring Incomes Lost due to Involuntary Resettlement 9. No End to Injustice: Gender Biases in Resettlement Planning Part 4: Resettlement in a Globalizing World 10. Investors In, Farmers Out: Private-Sector Projects and the Contentious Issue of Land Acquisition 11. A Blow to Tribal Life: The Disastrous Impact of Globalization Part 5: The Way Forward 12. Development for All: Ensure that the Displaced People Have a Share in Project Benefits

About the Author

Hari Mohan Mathur is Visiting Professor at the Council for Social Development, New Delhi. He has written or edited several books on anthropology, development and resettlement, including India Social Development Report 2008: Development and Displacement (2008) and Resettling Displaced People: Policy and Practice in India (2011).

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies