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Environmental Justice, Rights to Nature and the Politics of Excess: Considering Collective Subjectivity over Forests in Garhwal, India SUBIR SINHA DEVELOPMENT.

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Presentation on theme: "Environmental Justice, Rights to Nature and the Politics of Excess: Considering Collective Subjectivity over Forests in Garhwal, India SUBIR SINHA DEVELOPMENT."— Presentation transcript:

1 Environmental Justice, Rights to Nature and the Politics of Excess: Considering Collective Subjectivity over Forests in Garhwal, India SUBIR SINHA DEVELOPMENT STUDIES, SOAS

2 Main Questions Who is the collective subject of movements for environmental justice and rights? How to account for their historical formation? The relations between the justice giving machinery and the justice seeking subject. The formation of collective subjectivity as the politics of excess.

3 Theoretical Debates This is located primarily in the literature on the emergence of political subjectivity in Marxian political theory. Building Samaddar, Balibar, Mezzadra, Ranciere and Badiou. These are debates about subjectivity, justice and rights.

4 Key Terms: Political Subject T hose who develop a theory of how conditions of everyday life are influenced by forms of rule, and have a desire to change those conditions, via authoring changes in the forms of rule, even though they have no right to do so. Justice seeking subject. Justice-giving machinery: a particular aspect of th state. Excess: that which is supplemental, that is, cannot be anticipated by, and therefore cannot be accommodated within, an original formulation

5 The main argument: Located in Garhwal Emergence of political subject from: –Contention –Mediation –Translation –Rendering Compatible. –Solidarity There is a politics of excess in each of these steps.

6 The justice-giving machinery; A genealogy The familial-patriarchal pre-colonial state. Shared sovereignty. Many Garhwals. Colonial and princely Garhwal: the continuation of the familial-patriarchal model. Primitive accumulation and punitive government. Developmental/national/neo-liberal state.

7 Dhandhaks as already- constituted subjectivity The moral economy of power in the familial-patriarchal state. Community based. Dhandhaks as a family dispute. Ritualised disobedience. Not a punishable offence. Enhance, not challenge kings authority.

8 The obsolescence of Dhandhaks The logic and mode of rule changed. Primitive accumulation and punitive government. No longer permitted. From shared to centralised sovereignty. Rebellions of the late 19th c based on community but aimed to overthrow state. Chandrabadni. Rawain. Tilari.

9 Mediation and Translation Weaving individual experiences of injustice into a narrative of general injustice. Agents of mediation and translation: reform movements, early nationalists, local press, the Praja Mandal movements

10 Solidarity There are attempts to encompass the political subject of environmental justice and rights. Resolution in the nationalist or communist agendas. Women enter the collective subject. The Azad Panchayat Movement

11 The new justice giving machinery The constitutional state with formal equality of rights between citizens. The developmentalist state in which justice is the outcome of growth with redistribution. Federal state. Continuity with the old order. Gandhian initiatives.

12 Chipko as politics of excess Nationalism in conflict with region. Developmentalism never reconciled growth with just redistribution. In a context of formal equality, real inequalities. New contexts of contenton. Women and youth Chipko as a mode of mediation, translation and solidarity.

13 Refractions of subjectivity The end of Chipko as we know it. Whole range of new movements. Youth and student movements turn militant. Statehood movement and the question of environmental justice and rights, Sacred geography and Hindu nationalism.

14 The on-going politics of subjectivity Common property rights not sovereignty over forests. The collective subject asking for rights changed by the time the rights were granted. Time lag New subjectivity related to nature. New mediations and subjectivity.


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