• The dilemmas of pro-development actors: viewing state–ethnic minority relations and intra-ethnic dynamics through contentious development projects

    Author(s):
    Duncan McDuie-Ra (see profile)
    Date:
    2011
    Group(s):
    Environmental Humanities, Sociology
    Subject(s):
    India
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    environmental politics, ethnicity, hydropower, sikkim
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6P40Q
    Abstract:
    Studies of ethnic minority peoples in Asia have long focussed on the relations between ethnic minority communities and the modern state and on the role of development in shaping these relations. This paper is concerned with how ethnic minorities respond to the state-led development. While there are numerous studies focussing on the collective agency of ethnic minorities opposing development projects, few studies consider the agency of pro-development actors. Pro-development actors are usually dismissed as co-opted, manipulated, inauthentic, or elite-driven, yet they can offer crucial insights into understanding state–ethnic minority relations and particularly intra-ethnic minority relations. This paper concentrates on pro-dam actors from the Lepcha minority in the Indian state of Sikkim to make four interlinked arguments. First, examining pro-development actors breaks the homogenous view of state–ethnic minority relations and shifts the focus to intra-ethnic relationships. Second, collective agency of ethnic minorities is not fixed in a particular relationship with the state nor does it have a particular position on development. Third, the long-term experience of development is vital in understanding how ethnic minorities manoeuvre and alter their position on contentious projects. Lastly, analysis of pro-development actors creates major dilemmas for researchers which are not easily overcome.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal Article
    Pub. DOI:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14631369.2011.538220
    Journal:
    Asian Ethnicity
    Volume:
    12
    Start Page:
    77
    End Page:
    100
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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