Social Movements in India: Poverty, Power, and Politics (Asia/Pacific/Perspectives)

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9780742538436: Social Movements in India: Poverty, Power, and Politics (Asia/Pacific/Perspectives)

Social movements have played a vital role in Indian politics since well before the inception of India as a new nation in 1947. During the Nehruvian era, from Independence to Nehru's death in 1964, poverty alleviation was a foundational standard against which policy proposals and political claims were measured; at this time, movement activism was directly accountable to this state discourse. However, the role of social movements in India has shifted during the last several decades to accompany a changed political focus—from state to market and from reigning ideologies of secularism to credos of religious nationalism. In the first volume to focus on poverty and class in its analysis of social movements, a group of leading India scholars shows how social movements have had to change because poverty reduction no longer serves its earlier role as a political template. Nonetheless, particular sectors of social movement politics remain the holding vessels for India's egalitarian conscience. With distinctive chapters on gender, lower castes, environment, the Hindu Right, Kerala, labor, farmers, and biotechnology, Social Movements in India will be attractive to students and researchers in many different disciplines.

Contributions by: Amita Baviskar, Anuradha Chakravarty, Vivek Chibber, Gopal Guru, Patrick Heller, Ron Herring, Mary John, Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, Neema Kudva, Gail Omvedt, Raka Ray, and Tanika Sarkar.

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About the Author:

Raka Ray is associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Mary Fainsod Katzenstein is professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University.

Review:

This seminal anthology embeds the study of social movements just where it belongs, in the workings of state-society relations and democratic politics. It carefully charts changing patterns of social mobilization while identifying diverse and contradictory trends in each epoch. It underlines both the extraordinary significance of social movements and the extraordinary challenges of combining commitments to redistribution and poverty alleviation with other issues and identities. (Amrita Basu, Amherst College)

This book is important to social movement scholars who wish to expand their theoretical boundaries by centrally considering lessons from "the South." (Bandana Purkayastha, University of Connecticut Mobilization)

This collection provides a valuable examination of Indian social movements and poverty in historical perspective and asks important questions about the role of social movements in the present, even if the answers are not so clear.... It offers scholars interested in such movements in the era of globalization a range of cases with varying implications for poverty, and it invites India scholars to dig deeper to identify the outcomes of current social movement approaches. (Jana Everett, Professor of Political Science, University of Colorado Denver)

This collection provides a valuable examination of Indian social movements and poverty in historical perspectives and asks important questions about the role of social movements in the present . . . This work offers scholars interested in such movements in the era of globalization a range of cases with varying implcations for poverty, and it invites India scholars to dig deeper to identify the outcomes of current social movement approaches. (Perspectives in Politics)

This analytically sophisticated collection of work on what is arguably the world's most complex set of social movements will be a key source for future scholarship. Ray and Katzenstein's examination of how the evolution of India's political context has reshaped the panorama of Indian social movements has powerful comparative resonance. (Peter Evans, University of California, Berkeley)

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