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

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Economic and Social Structure of Space in Agrarian and Cultural Regions

Constructing Regions Inside the Nation

When the nation or the “centre” and their relations with constituent states are challenged by forces that are neither disciplined nor stabilised inside national territories, then economic regions expand and challenge the capacities of states to regulate them. This paper presents insights gained from new maps of India’s material and cultural regions, manifestations of the spatial patterns of Indian capitalism. Specifically, the focus is on regions of agrarian structure (rent, petty production, and capitalist production and exchange relations) and regions of social identity (caste, ethnicity, and gender).

The foundations of modern geography included the study of the relations between physical landscape and human activity, of the constant tension in theory and practice between the universal on the one hand and the particular, contextual and idiographic on the other, together with the study of the world’s regions (Chapman 2007; Spate et al 1967). Almost everywhere, these foundations have been undermined by the discipline at a moment of history when the persistence and diversity of regions generate tensions between the forms of their economic integration and their politics. For when the nation or the “centre” (be it New Delhi or Brussels) and their relations with constituent states are challenged by forces that are neither disciplined nor stabilised inside national territories, then economic regions expand and challenge the capacities of states to regulate them. At the same time, political aspirations for autonomy tend to work in the opposite direction. Yet, political regions are evidently not the only spatial units through which development takes place.

Rehabilitating the Region, Going against the Grain

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Updated On : 17th Nov, 2017
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