Accepted Paper:

Corrupt Movements, the Anti-Corruption Movement, and the Movement of Knowledge in Indian Political Practice  


Anand Vaidya (Harvard University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper considers both India's 2011 anti-corruption movement and failed attempts at corruption in proposing a theory of political practice driven by the movement and sedimentation of knowledge.

Paper long abstract:

In August 2011, New Delhi was gripped by middle-class dominated protests against corruption in the Indian state. In the same month, in the north Indian village in which I am conducting fieldwork, a group of landless forest dwellers tried and failed to implement India's recent Forest Rights Act to gain land rights. Drawing upon ethnographic research in both sites, this paper considers these two disparate modes of political action, both based on the diagnosis that the bureaucratic rationality or moral subjectivities of state actors are inevitably overwhelmed by the profit motive, to argue for a theory of citizen-state engagement driven by social, legal, and political knowledge.

Panel P04
Beyond the Arab Spring: the aesthetics and poetics of popular revolt and protest