Social Movements and the State in India: Deepening Democracy?

Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Kenneth Bo Nielsen (eds.) (2016)

Steering Committee Member at the Centre on Law and Social Transformation, Alf Nilsen, has together with Kenneth Bo Nilsen edited a new book on social movements in India. The book “Social Movements and the State in India: Deepening Democracy?” is published on Palgrave Macmillian UK and raises questions of the extent to which social movements are capable of deepening democracy in the country. In particular, the authors ask how such movements can enhance the political capacities of subaltern groups and thereby enable them to contest and challenge marginality, stigma, and exploitation.

The work addresses these questions through detailed empirical analyses of contemporary fields of protest in Indian society – ranging from gender and caste to class and rights-based legislation. Drawing on the original research of a variety of emerging and established international scholars, the volume contributes to an engaged dialogue on the prospects for democratizing Indian democracy in a context where neoliberal reforms fuel a contradictory process of uneven development.

Alf Gunvald Nilsen is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Bergen, Norway, and Senior Visiting Researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. His work focuses on social movements in the global South, with a particular concentration on India.

Kenneth Bo Nielsen is an anthropologist working at the Department of Sociology at the University of Bergen, Norway, and also coordinates the Norwegian Network for Asian Studies, hosted by the University of Oslo’s Centre for Development and the Environment. His current research focuses on social movements and land dispossession in India.