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Title: Social representation and rural development : transformation in governance, institutions, and livelihoods in response to emerging global markets for medicinal plants in the Indian Himalayas
Author: Tiwari, Shilpa
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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This dissertation provides and examination of how NGOs, village people, government agencies and donor agencies participate in a conservation and development intervention termed ecodevelopment. It also examines the creation of a space that has come to be known as the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), which is located in Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh, India. Field data was collected from villages located in Tirthan Valley, which lies adjacent to the GHNP. I divide this dissertation into five central chapters: a review of colonial interests in forestry; a discussion of the contemporary conditions for forestry; an analysis of rural livelihoods and transformation; an examination of the conservation and development interventions centred on medicinal plant trade in Tirthan valley; and finally an analysis of how conservation and development projects are brokered to produce 'success'. I argue that by defining conservation and development issues so that they can be solved by specific expertise, organizations did not adequately recognize the political and historical context in which interventions take place, nor the structural conditions and existing relationships between the variety of actors and stakeholders. Institutions and people responsible for development and conservation programs did not examine their own practices as potentially responsbile for the further marginalization of people and shaping the outcome of project activities. What commonly occurs is that village people are blamed for their inability to remedy their own conditions, and in reponse attempts are made to modify village people's behaviour so that they are compliant with government and donor organization mandates for development and conservation. What was observed in Tirthan valley was that a series of brokers negotiated the outcomes of interventions so that the project was precieved as successfully improving the lives of "poor forest dependent villagers". With this research I demonstrate the potential ethnography in understanding interventions. Using an ethnographic lens to understand existing research and the field site provided vital insight on rationalities and forms of knowledge, and how a combination of political ecology, political economy and history come together to shape practice. An ethnographic approach allowed me to explore how subjectivities were produced in the complex conjectures where multiple powers come together, how critical practice emerged, and how they motivated new attempts to govern.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available