POLITICS FROM BELOW: Essays on Subalternity and Resistance in India


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Year Published

ISBN 9789350025062


How is subalternity constituted and contested in Indian society? This is the question at the centre of this collection of essays, which draws on Antonio Gramsci’s work to investigate the dynamics of hegemony, subalternity and resistance in India, both past and present. Engaging in a critical dialogue with the Subaltern Studies project, the first part ofPolitics From Belowdevelops a historical-sociological approach to the study of hegemonic processes and subaltern politics. At the heart of this perspective is a concernwith deciphering the enablements and constraints that subaltern groups confront as they mobilize in and through the social condensations of hegemony – and in particular in and through regnant state-society relations. In the second part of the book, this perspective is put to work in developing analyses of social movements in rural India. Drawing on the author’s extensive fieldwork,Politics From Belowpresents detailed ehtnographic studies of the movement against dam building in the Narmada Valley and Adivasi mobilization to democratize the local state in western India. The book will be relevant to students and scholars with an interest in social movements and the political economy of development and democracy in India, as well as to activists and engaged members of the public more generally.

Alf Gunvald Nilsenis Associate Professor at the Department of Global Development and Planning at the University of Agder and a Research Associate at the Society, Work and Development Institute at the University of Witwatersrand. He is the author ofDispossession and Resistance in India: The River and the Rage(2010) and co-author ofWe Make Our Own History: Marxism and Social Movements in the Twilight of Neoliberalism(2014) – both of which are available in India from Aakar Books.


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