Democracy, development and (Re-) visions of nature: Rural conflicts in the western Himalayas

Chhatre, A and Saberwal, V (2006) Democracy, development and (Re-) visions of nature: Rural conflicts in the western Himalayas. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 33 (4). pp. 678-706. ISSN 1743-9361

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This article explores the interacting politics of development and conservation and the contradiction between conservation and democracy through the specific experiences in the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), India. Unraveling the connections between the local, regional, national and the global, in the sphere of politics, conservation, and development, we examine the context within which the specific conservation outcomes have evolved. We argue that centralized governance of nature – especially wildlife conservation – is incompatible with the exigencies of democracy. Secondly, we demonstrate that the locus of the problem is not opportunistic politics, but the particular science and ideology of conservation, which seeks to impose a culturally narrowly defined vision of nature on society at large. We suggest that the events in GHNP are representative of a widespread phenomenon, whereby rural communities adversely affected by conservation policies have exploited the exigencies of democratic politics to good effect, exhibiting an agency that is yet to be theorized adequately.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The research paper was published by the author with the affiliation of Harvard University.
Subjects: Economics
Socio Political System
Date Deposited: 16 May 2019 16:09
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2023 18:15

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