1st Edition

Reframing the Environment Resources, Risk and Resistance in Neoliberal India

Edited By Manisha Rao Copyright 2021
    240 Pages
    by Routledge India

    240 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This volume unravels the underlying power relations that are masked in the present discourse of ecological sustainability and conflicts over natural resources. Current discussions on environment emphasise the use and abuse of the environment in various ways. This book looks at the inter-linkages of discourse, resources, risk and resistance in the contemporary neoliberal world. While exploring the experiences of neoliberalisation of nature in India, it brings out the intersections of conservation and management, science and gender, community politics and governance policies.

    The volume highlights the cultural politics of resistance from multiple sites and regions in India in the recent context (be it land, water, forest, flora or fauna or urban commons). It discusses the ways in which environmental issues have come up and been appropriated, while examining the role of the State and actors such as corporates, traders, consultants, ecotourism companies, green activists and consumers, and consequences of ‘green’ appropriation and the ‘growth’ story. The major themes of the volume are the interrelations of nature, culture and power; neoliberal governance and the environment; access to and use and management of land, natural resources and environment; community politics and livelihoods; marginalised groups and local communities; marketisation and the environment; and new forms of re-appropriation and resistance.

    This book will be of great interest to students and researchers in sociology, environmental studies, environmental history, environmental anthropology, political ecology, political science, geography, law and human rights, economics and development studies as well as to environmental activists, policy makers and those in media and journalism.

    1 Understanding neoliberal environments in India: an introduction

    Manisha Rao

    PART I Neoliberal governance, environment and gender

    2 Cutting the Gordian Knot: environmentalism, capitalism and the metabolic rift

    Sudha Vasan

    3 Nature, nation, science and gender

    Gita Chadha

    4 Building ‘India’s future powerhouse’: discourses of ‘development’ and popular resistance in Northeast India

    Chandan Kumar Sharma

    PART II Community, politics and livelihoods

    5 Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve: reflections from the field

    Ritambhara Hebbar

    6 New coastal claims and socio-legal contestations in Mumbai: artisanal fishers and the problematic of the urban environment

    D. Parthasarathy and Hemantkumar A. Chouhan

    7 Bonds that divide: urbanisation and the erosion of the commons

    Hita Unnikrishnan, B. Manjunatha and Harini Nagendra

    PART III Marketisation and the environment

    8 Playing with coloured spectacles: Neoliberal witchcraft as played out through watershed policies

    Arun De Souza

    9 Canal commands and rising inequity

    Seema Kulkarni

    PART IV Law, politics and resistance

    10 Rhinoceros in Kaziranga National Park: nature and politics in modern Assam

    Arupjyoti Saikia

    11 Environmental movements and the Indian Supreme Court

    Geetanjoy Sahu

    12 Wise sayings from an ‘ecosystem’ community: reflections from a search for challenging neoliberal worldviews on nature

    John Kurien


    Manisha Rao is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Mumbai, India and previously taught at the Department of Sociology at SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, India.