ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Niraja Gopal JayalSubscribe to Niraja Gopal Jayal

A Handbook of State Politics

Handbook of Politics in Indian States: Regions, Parties and Economic Reforms edited by Sudha Pai (Delhi: Oxford University Press), 2013; pp 443, Rs 1,495.

Communal Identity: A Constructionist View

Communal Identity: A Constructionist View Communal Identity in India: Its Construction and Articulation in the Twentieth Century (Debates in Indian History and Society Series) edited by Bidyut Chakrabarty; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2003;

Democracy and Social Capital in Central Himalaya in Central Himalaya

Does social capital make democracy work? Democracy is by definition empowering. A logical corollary is that development should be decentralised and with social capital, democracy and development could be packaged as a model for replication. Ground reality is more complex, as the fieldwork on which this paper is based shows. It also suggests that social capital cannot be understood outside of its particular cultural, ideological and institutional contexts or indeed independently of the nature of social segmentedness, whether along caste, class or any other lines.

Uttaranchal : Same Wine, Same Bottle, New Label?

The movement for Uttarakhand was forged on a unity of interests between people of the 'pahar' region. However, statehood has widened the 'pahar-maidan' conflict and has also thrown into abeyance the long history of participatory movements the region has seen as well as any moves towards sustainable development.

Political Construction of Sub-National Identity

The Uttarakhand Movement: Construction of a Regional Identity by Pradeep Kumar; Kanishka Publishers, New Delhi, 2000; pp 228, Rs 495.

Ethnicity and Nationality

Ethnicity and Nationality Niraja Gopal Jayal Citizenship, Nationality and Ethnicity; Reconciling Competing Identities by T K Oommen; Polity Press, Cambridge, 1997, THIS important new book from a distinguished Indian sociologist seeks to grapple with questions of ethnicity and nationality through a detailed exercise of conceptual clarification. An impressively vast historical and comparative canvas forms the background and basis of this attempt at sweeping away the dusty cobwebs of historical and sociological scholarship, and disentangling the often confused discourse around these concepts. Though the title describes its concern as the competing identities of citzenship, nationality and ethnicity, in that order, the substance of the book suggests that the order of importance is actually the reverse. As such, ethnicity and processes of 'ethnification' are problematised, while citizenship in plural societies is offered as a solution.

Displaced Persons and Discourse of Rights

Rights can have emancipatory potential, depending largely on their location within a larger political project, of radical democracy or social justice. Perceptions of the failure' of rights to effectuate such a project on its own strength entails, not despondency about rights themselves, but rather a second look at the social and economic structures that make such an emancipatory politics difficult to achieve. Likewise, the contradictions in the political practice of social movements championing the cause of the displaced, stem as much from their ambiguous social composition as from the confusion regarding the object of rights-claims.

The Governance Agenda-Making Democratic Development Dispensable

Democracy and development must be seen as intimately related functioning under similar constraints, and equally subject to political negotiation. Thus for instance, social inequality in India both retards balanced development and distorts the logic of democracy. It is precisely this distorting logic of democracy in an unequal society that necessitates state welfare for the protection of the vulnerable, for the concerns of distributive justice cannot be fulfilled by governance alone. The answer therefore is not to look towards the state but at different ways of approaching and defining democracy and development.

Rights, Justice and Common Property Resources

Rights, Justice and Common Property Resources Niraja Gopal Jayal THIS comment on K Subramaniam's article 'Science and Ethics in Public Decision- Making: Case of Big Dams' (EPW, April 2) applauds his account of the interpenetration of science and values in the structuring and moduling of cost-benefit analyses. and the attendant prejudicing of the outcomes of these. It is also in complete agreement with the defence of the rights of tribal peoples to common property resources, as a critical basis for anti-dam arguments in the Narmada valley. It disagrees fundamentally, however, with the argument in Part II of the article, which is concerned with providing a moral and philosophical basis for these rights.
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