1st Edition

Politics from Below Essays on Subalternity and Resistance in India

By Alf Gunvald Nilsen Copyright 2024

    This book is a collection of essays that question how subalternity is constituted and contested in Indian society. It draws on Antonio Gramsci's work to investigate the dynamics of hegemony, subalternity and resistance in India, both past and present.

    Drawing on the author's extensive fieldwork, Politics from Below presents detailed ethnographic studies of the movement against dam building in the Narmada Valley and Adivasi mobilization to democratize the local state in western India. The book will be relevant to students and scholars with an interest in social movements and the political economy of development and democracy in India, as well as to activists and engaged members of the public more generally.

    This title is co-published with Aakar Books. Print editions not for sale in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Bhutan)



    Part I: Theorizing Subaltern Politics

    1. Autonomous Domains or Relational Practices? Power and Resistance in Colonial and Postcolonial India

    2. For a Historical Sociology of State-Society Relations in the Study of Subaltern Politics

    Part II: Popular Struggles in Contemporary India

    3. Against the Current, from Below: Resisting Dispossession in the Narmada Valley

    4. Subaltern Resistance in the Bhil Heartland: Historical Trajectories and Contemporary Scenarios




    Alf Gunvald Nilsen is Associate Professor in the Department of Global Development and Planning at the University of Agder and Research Associate in the Society, Work and Development Institute at the University of Witwatersrand.