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Civil Society, Democratization and the Search for Human Security: The Politics of the Environment, Gender, and Identity in Northeast India
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Authors: Duncan McDuie-Ra (Development Studies, School of Social Sciences and International Studies, University of New South Wales, Australia) 
Book Description:
This book examines the relationship between civil society and human security in the Indian state of Meghalaya, part of the region known as Northeast India. Civil society has been revived over the last two decades and is now one of the key concepts in development, politics, and international aid. The concept has gained particular significance as part of attempts to analyze and instigate grassroots democratization through widespread political participation. This is seen as enabling a broader range of issues to be politicized and made a part of political agendas at the local, national, and global levels. However there are few studies that examine the constraints on civil society at the local level, even in contexts where civil society may appear to be active and vibrant. Those studies that do exist tend to focus on the constraints coming from the state, overlooking the constraints that come from within civil society itself.

During the same period human security has gained prominence as a challenge to state-centric conceptions of security and as an alternative approach to development by focusing on the security and insecurity of groups and individuals. The concept has been taken up by international organizations, development agencies, and bilateral donors as a more effective way to understand the difficulties people face in their everyday lives that go beyond conventional categories and indicators. In order for those experiencing insecurity to identify and contest the causes of insecurity, participation in civil society is necessary.
Imprint: Global Affairs Press

Table of Contents:
Preface

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

Glossary of Non-English Terms

INTRODUCTION

Overview

Boundaries and Transferability

PART 1: BOUNDED SPHERES, BOUNDED IDENTITIES

CHAPTER 1: CIVIL SOCIETY, DEMOCRATISATION AND HUMAN SECURITY

The Ascendancy of the Third Sphere Model

Why civil society?

Euro-centrism and Critical Civil Society

European origins

Non-European perspectives

Critical civil society

Civil Society in India

Human Security

Origins

Applying Human Security

Analytical and normative elements

Development and insecurity

Civil Society and insecurity

A critical starting point

CHAPTER 2: COLONIALISM, STATE FORMATION, AND IDENTITY IN NORTHEAST INDIA

Drive-in Anthropology

Creating Tribes and Hill Tribes in Colonial Assam

Colonising the frontier

Tribals and non-tribals in colonial India

Tribes as savages

Hill tribes: the most savage savages

Tribes and production

Migration into Meghalaya

Segregation

Tribes and missionaries

The Persistence of Colonial Categories: state formation and the further politicisation of identity

Reproducing ‘tribe’: the so-called ‘tribal problem’

Reproducing the ‘hill tribe’: the division of Assam

Dividing Assam

The Hill State Movement

The APHLC

Embedded Identity

CHAPTER 3: THE ‘OUTSIDERS’ DISCOURSE: POLITICAL POWER AND ETHNICITY IN MEGHALAYA

The Hegemony of Identity in Meghalaya

Causes of influx

The scale of influx

Perceptions and narratives of influx

i) Hegemony of non-tribal culture

ii) Religious differences

iii) Economic domination

iv) Land

v) The ‘Tripura Syndrome’

vi) Bangladesh: the Malthusian nightmare

(vii) Inter-tribal tensions

Identity, Power and Inequality

i) Tribal elite

ii) Urban middle class

iii) Bureaucracy

iv) Approved NGOs

v) Ethno-nationalist organisations

Insecure identity

PART II- MARGINALITY AND VOICE: THE INSECURITY OF CIVIL SOCIETY 56
CHAPTER 4- CONSTRUCTING ENVIRONMENTAL INSECURITY: THE POLITICS OF DEGRADATION AND IDENTITY

Approaching environmental insecurity

Degradation and insecurity

Environmentalism in national and local contexts

Environmental Degradation in Meghalaya

i) Changes in land ownership and usage

ii) Deforestation

iii) Jhumming

iv) Mining

Uranium Mining, Coal Mining, and ‘outsiders’

Uranium in the West Khasi Hills

Opponents and proponents: identity insecurity and economic insecurity

Towards final approval

Coal mining

Mining, Power and Contestation

i) The ‘outsiders’ discourse

ii) Control of profits

iii) Lack of voice

iv) Construction of Meghalaya

Ethnicising the Environment

CHAPTER 5: THE MYTH OF EMPOWERMENT: GENDER, INSECURITY, AND IDENTITY 81
Approaching gender and insecurity

National and local contexts

Gender and civil society in the Khasi Hills

a) Service providers

b) Activist civil society actors

Gender-Based Insecurity in the Khasi Hills

i) Land, forests, and gender

ii) Gendered poverty

iii) Violence Against Women

Gender Politics in the Khasi Hills

i) Misrepresenting matriliny

Framing matriliny

Contesting matriliny

ii) Ethnicising Gender: the ‘outsiders’ discourse

iii) Access to political spaces

The local context- dorbars

The national context- the 73rd Amendment

Contesting Power: recovering agency

Rally against VAW

The State Women’s Commission

What has been gained?

The role of networks

Towards Transcendence?

PART III- TRANSCENDENCE: BRINGING BACK THE POLITICAL

CHAPTER 6: TRANSCENDENCE: RE-THINKING CIVIL SOCIETY, RE-INTERPRETING HUMAN SECURITY, AND RE-IMAGINING MEGHALAYA

Re-imagining Civil Society

Identity

Power

Contextualising inequalities

Re-interpreting Human Security

Insecurity and identity

Overcoming binaries

Competing insecurities

Re-Imagining Meghalaya

Diversifying the tribe

Legal categories

Agency

(i) Anti-national

(ii) Anti-modern

Transcendence

New Spaces

(i) Linkages across spaces

(ii) Linkages within spaces

Re-politicisation

CONCLUSION: UNCOVERING NEGLECTED NARRATIVES OF INSECURITY

APPENDIX 1: LIST OF ORGANISATIONS CONSULTED

REFERENCE LIST

Films

Newspapers

Publications

Index

   Binding: Hardcover
   Pub. Date: 2009 - 2nd Quarter
   ISBN: 978-1-60692-832-5
   Status: AV
  
Status Code Description
AN Announcing
FM Formatting
PP Page Proofs
FP Final Production
EP Editorial Production
PR At Prepress
AP At Press
AV Available
  
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Civil Society, Democratization and the Search for Human Security: The Politics of the Environment, Gender, and Identity in Northeast India