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The Politics of Autonomy

The Politics of Autonomy
Indian Experiences

First Edition
Edited by:

December 2005 | 312 pages | SAGE India
This volume tells us that a critical inquiry into the idea of autonomy suggests that the politics of the future will be the politics of autonomies: an engagement that combines notions like self-government, women`s autonomy, devolution of power, the rights of minorities, greater popular access to resources, and legal pluralism, and where different autonomies must learn to negotiate and co-exist. Viewing democratic theory through the lens of autonomy, the contributors:
- argue that autonomy has to be an essential ingredient in the building of post-colonial democracies, not merely a residual measure to keep some constituencies happy;
- draw attention to the contending principles of autonomy, the consequent politics of autonomies, the inescapable co-existence of autonomies, and the need for dialogue; and
- analyze the instructive Indian politico-historical experience because of its diversity and range, the extent of colonial institutionalization, multiple forms of autonomy, the complex path of constitutionalism, a wide variety of accords, and the unyielding state that is determined to keep the nation intact.

In the process, the contributors traverse a wide range of issues relating to women`s autonomy, peace accords, the nature of federalism in the Indian Constitution, autonomy in international law, and the fiscal decentralization. These debates are then supported by case studies on the autonomy experiments in Kashmir, Darjeeling, and the entire Northeast, and on fiscal devolution.
Ranabir Samaddar
The Politics of Autonomy
An Introduction

Pradip Kumar Bose
The Birth of the Autonomous Subject?
Paula Banerjee
Women's Autonomy
Beyond Rights and Representations

Samir Kumar Das
Where Do the Autonomous Institutions Come From?
Ashutosh Kumar
The Constitutional and Legal Routes
Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury
Autonomy's International Legal Career
Sanjay Chaturvedi
The Ethno and the Geo
A New Look into the Issue of Kashmir's Autonomy

Subhas Ranjan Chakrabarty
Silence Under Freedom
The Strange Story of Democracy in the Darjeeling Hills

Sanjay Barbora
Autonomy in the Northeast
The Frontiers of Centralized Politics

Subir Bhaumik and Jayanta Bhattacharya
Autonomy in the Northeast
The Hills of Tripura and Mizoram

Ratan Khasnabis
Resources for Autonomy: Financing the Local Bodies

The essays in the volume deal with diverse issues and are divided in two sections with a lucid introduction by Ranabir Samaddar… provides interesting reading… The volume infers a great deal about the future of Indian democracy and will be useful for scholars of political theory, Indian federalism and ethno-nationalist movements.

Contributions to Indian Sociology

 [This book] not only provides the descriptive analysis of the autonomy movements in different parts of India but more importantly the body of literature in the volume is theoretically anchored exploring the differing meanings of autonomy and the debates that veer around them.


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ISBN: 9780761934523