Friday, May 1, 2015

Talk by Dr Emmanuel Teitelbaum:
Economic Sources of Political Violence in Rural India
Conference Room, CPR | Followed by lunch12:30 PM
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How do insurgent groups mobilize popular support for their movements in resource-scarce environments? South Asia provides fertile ground for the investigation of this question. Over the past quarter century, the region has witnessed a number of violent political movements, including Maoist-led insurgencies in Nepal and India’s ‘Red Corridor,’ an ethno-linguistic conflict in Sri Lanka, an internationalized civil conflict in Jammu and Kashmir, and secessionist tribal movements in India’s Northeast. While the ideology and underlying goals of these movements have varied tremendously, they all began in regions lacking in natural resource wealth and depended heavily upon support from the local population in the early stages of their movements. This talk will compare the ways in which insurgent organizations mobilized civilian support across these different contexts. It will emphasize the role of economic grievances arising from rigidities in informal labour markets, and will focus primarily upon the recent experience of the Maoist movement in different locations in India’s ‘Red Corridor.’

Dr Teitelbaum is an Associate Professor in Political Science at George Washington University, Washington DC. His focus areas include comparative politics, the political economy of labour, economic development and the politics of South Asia. His most recent book, Mobilizing Restraint: Democracy and Industrial Protest in Post-Reform South Asia (Cornell University Press, 2011) explores the dynamics of state-labour relations following the implementation of economic reforms in South Asia.

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