SOAS University of London

SOAS South Asia Institute

SSAI Seminar Programme

Decolonising Natural Resource Governance
 

Seminars sponsored by the SOAS South Asia Institute and co-organised by the Law, Environment and Development Centre, School of Law, SOAS 2019-2020

Extraction of natural resources in South Asia, including air, forests, land, minerals and water, has been a crucial aspect of the development paradigm for many decades. The colonial state relied on natural resources to sustain the colonial economy and the empire, in part through dispossession and disregard for existing rights of use and conservation. The focus was particularly on land through which the colonial state could access most resources, and land acquisition legislation played a central role in this regard. Post-independence, governments have maintained a grip over natural resources. This approach remains anchored in the same basic paradigm, despite a dramatic change in circumstances.

This is not to say that there have been no changes. The past couple of decades attest to massive changes in the governance of natural resources in the context of neo-liberal economic and policy reforms. At the same time, these changes that seek in principle to give much greater freedom to the private sector to exploit resources ‘efficiently’ remain linked to strong state intervention, as exemplified by India’s new land acquisition legislation where the role of the private sector is more directly acknowledged but where the state remains the central actor.

This seminar series seeks to explore mechanisms for decolonising natural resource governance in a context where modernisation and reforms of the past couple of decades have led to significant changes, such as the recognition of forest rights for forest-dependent people in India, but the bulk of the governance framework remains steeped in old thinking.

The seminar series hopes to examine the push towards change in governance frameworks resulting from subaltern studies that question the received wisdom of state intervention in resource governance along with discourses on mainstreaming community-led commons resource management. Further, in the context of the continued marginalisation in policy circles of discourses that eschew a centralised state interventionist model, the five seminars in the series will aim at mainstreaming and highlighting ways in which to entrench and build alternative discourses, while simultaneously questioning and testing  popular policy prescriptions that support the continuation of old structures (primarily colonial).

For further information contact the Institute.

Previous Events in this series

Sanskrit Reading Room

Dr Vincenzo Vergiani
31 January 2018, Russell Square: College Buildings, Room Meet 116, Main Building, SOAS, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Roots of Yoga by James Mallinson and Mark Singleton

In conversation with Mukti Jain Campion (of CultureWise, producer of BBC Radio 4 documentaries)

There are over 2.5 million practitioners of yoga in Britain alone, but surprisingly little knowledge of yoga’s roots amongst its practitioners. Full of postures and breathing practices, but also tales of extreme devotion and imagination, Roots of Yoga is a first stop for anyone curious to learn more than they are told at their yoga class, and an indispensable resource for serious yoga practitioners and teachers.

24 April 2017, Brunei Gallery, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Public Sphere in Conflict Zones: Study of Public Spaces in Kashmir

Dr Khalid Wasim Hassan (The Charles Wallace India Trust Visiting Fellowship at SOAS, 2016/17)

This article will explore the relationship between public space, resistance, and the hegemonic Indian state in Kashmir where the distinction between the symbolic label of IAK and IOK highlights the politics and re-production of public space in this state of exception.

15 March 2017, Brunei Gallery, B102, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Challenges of Reading: ‘Disentangling’ Badal Sircar’s Plays

Dr Manujendra Kundu (ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Science Research) Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, University of Delhi)

The seminar discusses whether there is scope for an ‘other’ reading of Sircar’s plays (though critics might argue that a play is to be played and not read), what happens when ideology/theory and practice (vis-à- vis Sircar’s Third Theatre) go their separate ways, and very briefly the reasons for a dismal state of the alternative theatre in Bengal.

8 March 2017, Brunei Gallery, B102, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Review of the Indus Valley Religious Beliefs – Through Analytical Study of Seals & Artifacts & Comparative Study of Contemporary Religions

Dr Sarah Umer (The Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust Visiting Fellowship at SOAS, 2016/17)

This study tries to identify the significant features of the religion and culture of the people of the Indus Valley Civilization (7000 BCE – 1500 BCE). This is done by examining relationships with past and later cultures found in the Indus River basin. My quest is made difficult by the absence of a readable Indus script.

22 February 2017, Brunei Gallery, B102, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

CANCELLED: The Hatha Yoga Project

Dr James Mallinson (SOAS University of London)

This seminar has been cancelled.  The Re-scheduled date will be announced in due course.

7 December 2016, Brunei Gallery, B102, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Lost in Transition: Rebuilding Nepal

Kul Chandra Gautam

**Please note change of venue to DLT (Main Building, SOAS)**

9 March 2016, Russell Square: College Buildings, DLT , 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

An Ordinary Election

Subir Sinha, SOAS, in conversation with Prof. Srirupa Roy and director Lalit Vachani
28 October 2015, Brunei Gallery, B104, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Challenges of Democracy in India

Hon’ble External Affairs Minister of India Shri Salman Khurshid
12 March 2014, Russell Square: College Buildings, Khalili Lecture Theatre, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Even the Crows: A Divided Gujarat

Sheena Sumaria / Sonum Sumaria (Directors)
26 February 2014, Russell Square: College Buildings, Khalili Lecture Theatre, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Voices of the Afro-Sri Lankans

Dr Shihan de Silva (Producer/Director)

This event has been cancelled.  

26 February 2014, Russell Square: College Buildings, Khalili Lecture Theatre, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Nepal Elections 2013 - What Next?

David Gellner (University of Oxford), CK Lal, Mara Malagodi (London School of Economics), Surya Subedi (University of Leeds)
6 December 2013, Russell Square: College Buildings, G51, 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Translating Ramayana

Arshia Sattar (Independent Scholar)
24 May 2013, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Nautanki

Dr Devendra Sharma (California State University)
11 May 2013, Russell Square: College Buildings, 116, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Can Film be used as an instrument for Social Change?

Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi

In view of the horrific gangrape recently in Delhi concerns have been expressed about the role films. TV and advertisements play in commodifying women. Is self - regulation required or State Censorship? Does film have a larger role to play beyond that of entertainment?

6 March 2013, Russell Square: College Buildings, G2, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

The Gurkha's Daughter: Stories

Prajwal Parajuly (Author)

Prajwal Parajuly’s debut book, The Gurkha's Daughter: Stories, published by Quercus, has received rave reviews and now hits the stands in the UK after being on bestseller lists in South Asia.

31 January 2013, Russell Square: College Buildings, G50, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

The Sufi factor in Pakistani Islamism

Dr Alix Philippon (Post-doctoral researcher, Institute of Political Studies CHERPA/IREMAM)
16 November 2012, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

The Untold War / The Vanni

Frances Harrison (Author) and Benjamin Dix (Photographer)
15 October 2012, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4421, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Saffron: Towards A History of Colours

Dr Sadan Jha (Charles Wallace India Fellow at SOAS, University of London and Assistant Professor, Centre for Social Studies, Surat, India)
18 April 2012, Russell Square: College Buildings, L67, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

“We’re Indian and African”: Sidis of India

Dr Shihan de Silva (Senior Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London and Member of the Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Slave Route Project)
9 March 2012, Russell Square: College Buildings, Khalili Lecture Theatre, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

River of Smoke

Amitav Ghosh (author)

Please note that this event has been cancelled.

7 June 2011, Russell Square: College Buildings, G2, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Seminar: Pakistan Policy: Reducing Militancy

Ms Maha Aziz (Senior Teaching Fellow in South Asian Politics and Business Week's Asia Insight Columnist)
12 March 2010, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4421, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Seminar: Pakistan Policy: Building Democracy

Ms Maha Aziz (Senior Teaching Fellow in South Asian Politics and Business Week's Asia Insight Columnist)
5 February 2010, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4421, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Seminar: Bimal Roy: The Man Who Spoke in Pictures

Professor Rachel Dwyer will chair a discussion of the book with Rinki Bhattacharya, Lord Meghnad Desai, and Bimal Roy’s editor Amit Bose
20 October 2009, Russell Square: College Buildings, Room 116, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Seminar: DOR (Thread)

Nagesh Kukunoor (Director)
22 March 2007, Russell Square: College Buildings, KLT, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Seminar: At Home in London

Bithika Raha (Founder and Artistic Director Nrityakal; The Rhythm)
19 May 2006, Russell Square: College Buildings, L67, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Seminar: Pushpak

Tinnu Anand (Director)
1 February 2006, Russell Square: College Buildings, 116, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM