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.
Table of Contents
1 Understanding neoliberal environments in India: an introduction
PART I Neoliberal governance, environment and gender
2 Cutting the Gordian Knot: environmentalism, capitalism and the metabolic rift
3 Nature, nation, science and gender
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
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
PART IV Law, politics and resistance
10 Rhinoceros in Kaziranga National Park: nature and politics in modern Assam
11 Environmental movements and the Indian Supreme Court
12 Wise sayings from an ‘ecosystem’ community: reflections from a search for challenging neoliberal worldviews on nature
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.