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Adivasi Mobilization in India

New publication from Alf Gunvald Nilsen in Critical Sociology: Adivasi Mobilization in Contemporary India: Democratizing the Local State?

Alf Gunvald Nilsen


This article addresses the political aspects of the structural marginalization of Adivasis (Scheduled Tribes) in India. Relating to critical debates about the changing nature of state–society relations in India, the article assesses the argument that the best way for social movements in India to advance their oppositional projects is to harness the state to their attempts to deepen democracy and advance subaltern emancipation. The trajectories of two Adivasi movements in western Madhya Pradesh are analysed, and I discuss the conceptual and political lessons that can be learnt from these case studies in terms of the relationship between subaltern politics and state power in contemporary India. Theoretically grounded in Marxian state theory, the article puts forward the argument that it is necessary to move beyond both anti-statism and state-centrism in order to develop a politically enabling engagement with contemporary Adivasi mobilization in India.

The article is availible here.