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Under what conditions can local government nurture indigenous people’s democratic practice? A case study of two Ho village assemblies in Jharkhand

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Siddharth Sareen, Iben Nathan

This paper asks whether and under what conditions participatory local government can best nurture indigenous peoples’ democratic practice. Based on fieldwork in two similar Ho communities in the Indian state Jharkhand, we show that their village assemblies function differently with regard to meetings, wood access regulation, development projects, and participation. Neither prevents exclusion and co- option. This supports the argument that while local governments can hardly challenge existing power structures, they can under certain conditions nurture democratic practice and democratisation. Our study indicates that high literacy, social cohesion, active state support, and proactive leadership are conditions under which this best happens.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Development Studies
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1354-1373
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 179887331