Handbook of Political Citizenship and Social Movements
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Handbook of Political Citizenship and Social Movements

Edited by Hein-Anton van der Heijden

This Handbook uniquely collates the results of several decades of academic research in these two important fields. The expert contributions successively address the different forms of political citizenship and current approaches and recent developments in social movement studies. Salient social movements in recent history are explored in depth, covering the environmental, women’s, international human rights, urban, Tea Party, and animal rights movements. Social movements and political citizenship in the ‘global South’: China, India, Africa, and the Arab World, are discussed, presenting a novel empirical insight into these fields of study.
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Chapter 24: Social movements in India

Dip Kapoor


India has a rich history of organized and spontaneous social activism from across the political-ideological spectrum. Social movement scholarship, however, has been relatively slow to acknowledge these political and social formations and to develop knowledge of and for social movements. The dominant scholarship on the subject has been the province of historians, sociologists, and, until more recently, political scientists. Of late it has also become the province of the relatively nascent fields of political sociology/ anthropology/ecology; development studies; environmental studies; Dalit (caste) and women’s/gender studies; and critical adult/popular education, with the latter more evident in materials produced by people’s movements and NGOs. Academic, as in the case of the widely acknowledged Economic and Political Weekly, and popular journalism have been more diligent about consistent reporting and analysis on the social movement front. Websites dedicated to specific movements or movement sectors, such as the National Alliance of People’s Movements India; Mines, Minerals and People India; Mining Zone Peoples’ Solidarity Group and Sanhati; and the Lokayan Bulletin are rich sources of information and political analysis pertaining to contemporary social movements in India. A cartography of the scholarship to date suggests a cacophony of case and empirical studies littering the social movement academic landscape, along with rich discussion and clarification around movement typologies and taxonomies and intra-movement micro-characteristics of one variety or another (M.S.A. Rao [1979] 2006; G. Shah [1990] 2004; Oommen [1990] 2010).

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