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State, Natural Resource Conflicts and Challenges to Governance   
State, Natural Resource Conflicts and Challenges to Governance
Where do we go from here?
Editor: N.C. Narayanan
Hard Bound Book (6" x 9") :   Pages : 256
2008  Edition   :   ISBN 13: 978-81-7188-618-0
Price : Rs. 795.00 ; US$ 49.95
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Governance in current debates demands pluralism of actors in the societal spheres of state, civil society and business. There is an inherent assumption of harmony among these spheres, which appears to optimise complimentary outcomes in ‘good governance’. In the real world, however, conflict is the norm rather than the exception.

Conflicts over the access and control of natural resources have amplified over time with large-scale resource transformation, especially through technological innovation. Today, the key challenge before natural resource governance is the need to balance economic growth with the demands and aspirations of the differentiated social structure, the future generations and the environment. Studies in this volume examine the competing, and diverging, interests that generate certain forms of natural resource conflicts. The studies bring into focus the changing role of the State and the social and environmental impact of State interventions in triggering conflict and mobilising resistance.

  About the EDITOR:    

N.C. Narayanan is a Senior Fellow at the South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies, Hyderabad, India. He has taught at the Institute of Rural Management, Anand and done research at the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum and the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands. He is the author of Against the Grain: Political Ecology of Land Use in Kerala Region, India and co-author of TINA and the Milk: Southern Perspectives on Sustainability in the Netherlands (English and Dutch editions). He is currently working on two edited volumes on Water Conflicts and Water Governance in South Asia.



List of Tables, Figures



1. State, Governance and Natural Resource Conflicts — N.C. Narayanan


State and Society: A Dialectical Relationship

State as Development Provider

Political Economy/Ecology of Natural Resource Use

Governance and Problems of ‘Governability’

Contributions in the Volume

2. Governance of Natural Resources in India: Property Rights, Legal Pluralism and Other Issues — Nirmal Sengupta

Colonial State and Property Rights

Provider and Regulator State

Private Initiative

Customary Rights

Rights of Panchayats

User Groups


3. State, Modernisation and Conflict in Fisheries: Revisting the Fishworkers’ Movement in Kerala — John Kurien



The Development Decades

Crisis and Questions

Post Script: Dilemmas of Collective Action and Governance

4. Water Control Structures and Conflicts in Lake Vembanad: Governance as Mobilisation — N.C. Narayanan


Political Economy of Rice-centric Development

Post-Independence State-led Development Interventions

Unintended Consequences

Rice-centric Development, Marginalisation, and Conflicts

Competing Claims on Lake Vembanad

Pro-salinity Barrier—The Rice Interest

Points of Rupture in the Conflict

Cultural Political Mobilisation of Fishermen

Process of Negotiation


Implications for Governance

5. States Conflicting Over Transboundary Waters: Analysing the Indo-Bangladesh Case — Rakesh Tiwary

Challenges of Utilisation and Governance: Mainly Political

The Drivers of Transboundary Water Conflict

Transboundary Water Conflicts: Capturing the Dynamism

The Dynamics of Conflict Shared Waters of India

and Bangladesh: The Riparian Structure

Post Colonial: Political Geography

The Ganges Water Dispute

Phases of Dispute

India’s River Interlinking Programme: Another Cycle?


6. Tribal Development and Governance — T. Madhava Menon



The Nehruvian Panchsheel

Violations of the Five Principles

Local Innovations and their Management

Concluding Observations

7. Preserving Micro-identities in a World of Directed Change: The Experience of Wayanad District — A. Damodaran



The Tribal Development Approach of the Dhebar Commission

How and Why the Dhebar Commission Complements India’s Forest and Wildlife Legislations

The Roots of the Crisis in Wayanad Diagnosis

The Dynamic of the Adivasi Gothra Sabha Movement

Preserving Micro-identities in an Environment of Directed Change


8. Where Should We Go from Here? Changing Approaches of the State, Grazing Resources and the Pastoralists of Saurashtra, Gujarat
— Charul Bharwada and Vinay Mahajan


Pastoralism in Saurashtra

Colonial Policies: Framework Governing the Approach of Princely States

Princely States: Grazing Sources and its Access

Post-Independence State: Changing Priorities

and Shrinking Pastures

Modern Agriculture: From Mutual Dependence to Perpetual Conflicts

Summing Up: The State and the Pastoralists

9. Alloyed Projects, Metalled Resistance: A Case of Bauxite Mining in Orissa
— Smriti Das and N.C. Narayanan


Policy Reforms and Poverty Paradox

Externalities of Development: Mineral

Exploitation in Kashipur

The Conflict in Kashipur

People’s Movement in Kashipur

Stakeholders Within the Network of Governance

Conflicts and Crisis in Governance




Charul Bharwada is an Architect Planner. After an experience of few years in the corporate sector, she is currently trying to understand the issues related to marginalised communities, water and organic farming at SANDARBH Studies, Ahmedabad.

A. Damodaran, Professor and MHRD Chair Professor on IPRs, IIM Bangalore.

Smriti Das, Fellow, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development (CISED), Bangalore.

John Kurien, Professor, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum. He is currently Fisheries Co-Management Advisor to the FAO/UN and based in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

Vinay Mahajan is an Agricultural Engineer and a Post Graduate in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. After an experience of few years in the corporate sector, he is currently trying to understand the issues related to marginalised communities, water and organic farming at SANDARBH Studies, Ahmedabad.

T. Madhava Menon (IAS retired), Former Commissioner and Secretary to Government of Kerala and Vice Chancellor, Kerala Agricultural University.

Nirmal Sengupta, Professor, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai.

Rakesh Tiwary, Researcher, IWMI-Tata Programme, International Water Management Institute, Hyderabad.

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