PhD defence: Governing the conflicted commons: Authorising resource access in the Indian tribal belt
In resource-conflict, state-building contexts, it is crucial for government action to impact authority over and access to resources in ways that democratise local political spheres. In this light, this study shows what nurtures or prevents inclusive and equitable local governance in the recently-formed federal Indian state of Jharkhand, and what local governance looks like in practice in this state-building context. It comprises three articles, empirically focussed on forest village communities of the indigenous Ho people in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district.
The first article presents how a formal local deliberative institution can nurture democratic practice based on a comparative study of two cases, arguing that several factors both within the community and external to it are requisite for local democracy.
The second article demonstrates the practices through which governmental development interventions systemically enable top-down authorisation without downward accountability and undermine local democracy by eliding development and securitisation.
The third article interrogates the mechanisms through which local actors access benefits from government services, arguing that government policies enable privileged private actors to co-opt authority over access and claim inequitably large shares of benefits at the cost of ordinary villagers. However, instances of cooperation and local agency are also highlighted and serve as the basis to suggest specific improvements towards democratic state-building to enable equitable, inclusive authorisation of resource access.
Iben Nathan, Associate Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Christian Lund, Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Laura Secco, Associate Professor, Department of Land Environment Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padova, Italy
Christian Pilegaard Hansen, Associate Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Neil Anthony Webster, Senior Resercher, Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark
Darley Jose Kjosavik, Associate Professor, Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Science (UMB), Norway
If you are interested in a copy of the thesis, you can contact the PhD student or one of the supervisors.
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