Rural poverty, inequality and contemporary social mobilisation 
Urs Geiser (University of Zurich)
Ramakumar R (Tata Institute of Social Sciences)
Roger Jeffery (University of Edinburgh)
Start time:
25 July, 2012 at 14:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

Poverty/inequality persist in spite of efforts by state, donors, civil society or markets. What do contemporary 'social movements' have to say on the material dimension of poverty/inequality - movements that increasingly seem to frame concerns around the non-material (identity, religion, ethnicity)?

Long Abstract

Throughout South Asia, rural poverty and inequality persist - in spite of efforts by state, donors, sections of civil society, or 'the market'. In this broader context, we observe an increasing presence of heterogeneous 'non-state actors and movements', challenging and even resisting the state's (mostly neo-liberal) development agenda, claiming to authentically represent people's aspirations towards well-being, and taking actions ranging from non-violent protest to militancy. We hypothesise that such contemporary social mobilisation transcends earlier forms (e.g. peasant movements), calling for a new theorising (esp. linking material and non-material dimensions) of the complex everyday articulation between expectations of rural poor upon the 'demand of development' and the competing discourses and practices of 'supplying development' specifically by state and 'non-state actors and movements'. We invite empirically grounded contributions across theoretical positions (old and new) that critically engage with our thoughts.

Accepted papers: