Coal extractive assemblages and the politics of sovereignty in India
Tid: Ti 2019-09-24 kl 13.30 - 15.30
Föreläsare: Prof. Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
Plats: Teknikringen 74D, 5th floor, seminar room
Prof. Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
(Resource, Environment & Development Program, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University)
Drawing upon my research on the ‘diverse economies of coal’ in India, I analyse in this seminar the socio-legal and political assemblages of coal extraction in India, and their implications with regard to resource rights. Throughout the world, extractive industries have expanded within a national and global politics over resources—constituted by neo-liberal economic policies, based on the distinction between public and private property rights, and on unitary and stable ownership, and the ‘fixing of values’. Yet, the poor have enacted a different kind of politics by entering the extractive economies, not always on their own terms and not always as the moral agent. In my (edited) book, ‘ Between the Plough and the Pick ’ I have dealt with the extractivism of the poor to make sense of the untidy and chaotic world, a world that is difficult to accommodate in existing theories of mining and resource conflict, envisioning a different kind of politics that allows us to understand easily ‘the constant negotiability of value and the unmapping of space’. In this seminar, I offer empirical examples from two indigenous-dominated states in India to ask if it is possible to raise the ‘moral question’ in situations where the state attributes an iconic status to coal. I hope the seminar will allow us to examine a grey zone in our understanding of resource sovereignty and dispossession, to reach beyond straightforward and binary distinctions implied by legal and illegal in resource extractive practices.
Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt is a Professor at the Australian National University, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, Canberra (Australia). Prof Lahiri-Dutt researches the social and ecological aspects of resources, gender and livelihood issues in both large, industrial mining and in informal, artisanal and small-scale mines and quarries, and feminization of agriculture in rural communities in a number of Asian countries such as India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, and Mongolia. She has published widely on these thematic topics, and is the author/editor of a number of books. She is on the editorial board of ACME: International Journal of Critical Geographies as well as Ecology, Economy and Society (journal of Indian Society for Ecological Economics).