'Forest governmentality': A genealogy of subject-making of forest-dependent 'scheduled tribes' in India

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31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper analyses the historical trajectories of both British colonial rule and independent India to categorise scheduled tribes and to appropriate and legalise forests in tribal areas. It builds upon Foucault's notion of governmentality to argue that the history of the scheduled tribes’ subject-making and the related history of forest demarcation is indispensable for understanding the current politics of decentralised forest management in India. Three dimensions of ‘forest governmentality’ – the history of categorisation, the politics of social identity, and the technologies of forest governance – are discussed to show how recent efforts to politicise forest tenure rights have reinforced political control over the scheduled tribes through new forms of authority, inclusion and exclusion. However, to claim their individual and community right to forestland and resources, the scheduled tribes have internalised their ‘new’ ethnic identity, thereby creating countervailing power and room to manoeuvre within the current forest governance regime. This is supported by a case study of the Bhil, a predominantly forest-dependent scheduled tribe in the semi-arid region of western India
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-673
JournalLand Use Policy
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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genealogy
governmentality
ethnic group
India
politics
governance
history
new tribe
political control
semiarid region
forest management
ethnic identity
arid zones
trajectories
trajectory
exclusion
inclusion
case studies
resource
management

Keywords

  • indigenous people
  • governance
  • politics
  • rights

Cite this

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title = "'Forest governmentality': A genealogy of subject-making of forest-dependent 'scheduled tribes' in India",
abstract = "This paper analyses the historical trajectories of both British colonial rule and independent India to categorise scheduled tribes and to appropriate and legalise forests in tribal areas. It builds upon Foucault's notion of governmentality to argue that the history of the scheduled tribes’ subject-making and the related history of forest demarcation is indispensable for understanding the current politics of decentralised forest management in India. Three dimensions of ‘forest governmentality’ – the history of categorisation, the politics of social identity, and the technologies of forest governance – are discussed to show how recent efforts to politicise forest tenure rights have reinforced political control over the scheduled tribes through new forms of authority, inclusion and exclusion. However, to claim their individual and community right to forestland and resources, the scheduled tribes have internalised their ‘new’ ethnic identity, thereby creating countervailing power and room to manoeuvre within the current forest governance regime. This is supported by a case study of the Bhil, a predominantly forest-dependent scheduled tribe in the semi-arid region of western India",
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'Forest governmentality': A genealogy of subject-making of forest-dependent 'scheduled tribes' in India. / Bose, P.; Arts, B.J.M.; van Dijk, H.

In: Land Use Policy, Vol. 29, No. 3, 2012, p. 664-673.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - 'Forest governmentality': A genealogy of subject-making of forest-dependent 'scheduled tribes' in India

AU - Bose, P.

AU - Arts, B.J.M.

AU - van Dijk, H.

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N2 - This paper analyses the historical trajectories of both British colonial rule and independent India to categorise scheduled tribes and to appropriate and legalise forests in tribal areas. It builds upon Foucault's notion of governmentality to argue that the history of the scheduled tribes’ subject-making and the related history of forest demarcation is indispensable for understanding the current politics of decentralised forest management in India. Three dimensions of ‘forest governmentality’ – the history of categorisation, the politics of social identity, and the technologies of forest governance – are discussed to show how recent efforts to politicise forest tenure rights have reinforced political control over the scheduled tribes through new forms of authority, inclusion and exclusion. However, to claim their individual and community right to forestland and resources, the scheduled tribes have internalised their ‘new’ ethnic identity, thereby creating countervailing power and room to manoeuvre within the current forest governance regime. This is supported by a case study of the Bhil, a predominantly forest-dependent scheduled tribe in the semi-arid region of western India

AB - This paper analyses the historical trajectories of both British colonial rule and independent India to categorise scheduled tribes and to appropriate and legalise forests in tribal areas. It builds upon Foucault's notion of governmentality to argue that the history of the scheduled tribes’ subject-making and the related history of forest demarcation is indispensable for understanding the current politics of decentralised forest management in India. Three dimensions of ‘forest governmentality’ – the history of categorisation, the politics of social identity, and the technologies of forest governance – are discussed to show how recent efforts to politicise forest tenure rights have reinforced political control over the scheduled tribes through new forms of authority, inclusion and exclusion. However, to claim their individual and community right to forestland and resources, the scheduled tribes have internalised their ‘new’ ethnic identity, thereby creating countervailing power and room to manoeuvre within the current forest governance regime. This is supported by a case study of the Bhil, a predominantly forest-dependent scheduled tribe in the semi-arid region of western India

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KW - governance

KW - politics

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