Antinomies of Political Society: Implications of Uncivil Development
Economic and Political Weekly, Vol-42, No.29, July 21, 2007
24 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2016 Last revised: 9 Jan 2017
Date Written: December 29, 2016
This paper is an attempt to delve into the consequences of the antinomies of flattened notions of subaltern politics on the basis of a field study in Kazipally, a pollution affected village, and to demonstrate how sustained demands for the closure of the polluting industries, based on collective mobilization and action, is met with uncivil state repression in nexus with mafia and the economic elites (industrialists) in the market. In turn, this pushes collectives to break up and be replaced by interest-based demands either at the level of smaller groups -- formed around available social stratifications -- or even individuals. This makes it increasingly difficult over time to sustain collective political action that could demand and gain long-term structural changes, in this case the closure of industries and the revival of agriculture. Therefore, the assumption that a “political society” can unproblematically refer to or subsume both organized political movements as well as contextually marked “strategic politics” actually becomes highly indefensible. In other words, while it is democratic to recognize the strategies for survival, it is struggles that lie beyond survival strategies that are imperative for any meaningful idea of democratization.
Keywords: Political Society, Pharma Pollution, Political Ecology, Resource Conflict, Environmental Movement
JEL Classification: Q59
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation