Fixed Borders, Fluid Boundaries : Identity, Resources and Mobility in Northeast India book cover
1st Edition

Fixed Borders, Fluid Boundaries
Identity, Resources and Mobility in Northeast India

ISBN 9780367428990
Published July 14, 2020 by Routledge India
222 Pages

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Book Description

This book provides an understanding of the challenges in Northeast India in terms of the nature of flows and ruptures in the daily lives of people. It brings together multiple and interconnected issues of identity, development, environment, migration, land alienation and policy impacts to the forefront.

Northeast India’s history is affected both by internal dynamic processes, as are its linkages with adjoining countries, marked by a fluid movement of people and goods across porous borders. The book explores how the region has emerged as a resource frontier for the global markets, yet its resource mobilization has led to disparity within the region. The volume discusses key themes concerning the region such as the processes of development and people’s resistance; underdevelopment in the peripheral areas; resource flow and conflict; community response and local agency; state and customary practices; politics of land and citizenship; development-induced dispossession; human mobility, immigration and conflict; the notion of "outsiders"; inter-state border conflict; and spatial connections.

Rich in empirical data, the volume will be relevant and useful for students and researchers of development studies, Northeast India studies, sociology, political science, border and migration studies, public policy, peace and conflict studies, as well as practitioners and policymakers.

Table of Contents


Introduction – Periphery Calling: Layers of Divergence

Chandan Kumar Sharma and Reshmi Banerjee


Part 1: Discord around Development

Chapter 1. The Contemporary Process of Economic Development, State Power and Lepcha Resistance in Sikkim: A Macro View

Binod Bhattarai

Chapter 2. Concentrated Development of Specific Areas vis-à-vis Underdevelopment in Peripheral Areas of Meghalaya

Kitdor W. Kharbuli

Chapter 3. Hydrocarbon Exploration in Manipur: Resource Conflict and Community Response

Shreya Saha

Chapter 4. Dispossession Due to Development: A Case Study of the Tiwa Tribe of Central Assam

Dola Borkataki


Part 2: Issues of Identity

Chapter 5. State and Customary Practices: Locating the Power and Authority of the Konyak Anghs

Jagritee Ghosh

Chapter 6. Ethnicity, Immigration and Conflict: The Case of Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD)

Cihnnita Baruah

Chapter 7. ‘Outsiders’ in Bodoland: Categories of Narratives and Practice

Saba Sharma

Chapter 8. Politics of Land and Citizenship in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh

Fariba Alamgir


Part 3: Borders and Beyond

Chapter 9. Accusations and Belonging in the Southwestern Borderland of Mizoram

N. William Singh

Chapter 10. Ethnography in the Assam–Nagaland Border: Narratives of Conflict

Prafulla Kr. Nath

Chapter 11. Ambiguity, Conflict and Compliance: Myanmar’s Woes Meet North East India

Reshmi Banerjee

Chapter 12. Crossing over the Patkai Mountains: Ethnographic Memoirs as Ruptures and Flows

Kaustubh Deka




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Chandan Kumar Sharma is Professor of Sociology at Tezpur University, Assam, India.

Reshmi Banerjee is a political scientist based in London, UK, and is currently a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, India.