A major challenge in studies of environmental governance is dealing with the diversity of the people involved at multiple levels – villagers, development agents, policy-makers, private resource users and others – and taking seriously their aspirations, conflicts and collaborations. This book examines this challenge in two very disparate parts of our world, exploring what gender-equality, resource management and development mean in real terms for its inhabitants as well as for our environmental futures.
Based on participatory research and in-depth fieldwork, Arora-Jonsson studies struggles for local forest management, the making of women’s groups within them and how the women’s groups became a threat to mainstream institutions. Insights from India, consistently ranked as one of the most gender-biased countries, are compared with similar situations in the ostensibly gender-equal Sweden. Arora-Jonsson also analyzes how dominant ideas about the environment, development and gender equality shape the spaces in which women and men take action through global discourses and grassroots activism.
Questioning the conventional belief that development brings about greater gender equality and more efficient environmental management, this volume scrutinizes how environmental imaginations are key to crafting gender relations. It shows gender to be at the heart of environmental negotiations while at the same time making a case for environmental sensibilities as integral to gender relations. At the confluence of development, environmental and gender studies, the book contributes to a much-needed dialogue between these fields, proposing new futures in environmental management.
'Telling, arguing, and analysing throughout this rich and original work, Seema Arora-Jonsson makes a strong theoretical case “for gender as integral to our analyses in order to be able to meet environmental and developmental challenges”'— Lars Rudebeck, Uppsala University, Development in Practice
"Gender, Development and Environmental Governance is indeed an enlightening work in more ways than one. Especially admirable is the élan with which Arora-Jonsson pulls off a seemingly unsustainable project—comparing a highly developed and a developing society… Gender, Development and Environmental Governance is a valuable contribution to the corpus of the theoretical literature on gender and environmental studies and a must read for all gender and environment scholars."— Etee Bahadur, Journal of South Asian Development
"The most significant contribution on of this book is its unconventional examination of daily life and informal networks, filtered through a gendered analysis… This is a great effort in undoing the sometimes artificial divide between the North and South. Because of its strengths in analyzing gender dynamics and its comparative nature, this book will be extremely interesting to those interested in issues of environmental governance, development, and gender."— Meenakshi Narayan, Michigan State University, Gendered Perspectives on International Development
1. Introduction: Three Places and a Jigsaw World 2. Crafting New Relations and Theorizing Connections: Gender, Development and Environmental Governance 3. Policy Discourses and Material Places: Forests, Gender and the (Re)making of the Peripheries 4. Environmental Politics on the Ground 5. A Politics of the Possible: Gendered Subjectivities in Collective Organizing 6. Micropolitics of Rural Development and Environmental Governance: Resistance, Maintenance and Outside Intervention 7. Discordant Connections: Discourses on Gender and Grassroots Activism 8. Development Practice and Environmental Governance: Flexible Spaces for Political Action 9. Conclusion: Up-Close in a Jigsaw World: Guideposts from the Present