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Title: Constructing global civil society from below : a case study of learning global citizenship in the Save the Narmada Movement, India
Author: Shukla, Natasha
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 3868
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
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The thesis examines the informal learning of global citizenship in the course of social struggle within grassroots movements, through an ethnographic case study of the Save the Narmada Movement (NBA). The movment, comprising village communities in India, campaigned with the support of international non-governmental organisations to prevent the construction of a World Bank (WB) financed dam. The study arises in response to a perceived marginalisation of grassroots resistances, especially in developing contexts, within empirical accounts of global civil society (GCS), which is conceptualised as a space where 'global citizens' seek to resist and transform the exigencies of economic globalisation. Interrogating the validity of this exclusion, a Gramscian framework is adopted to examine whether, and in what ways grassroots actors are global citizens, engaged in the transformative politics of GCS. Analysis of data emerging from NBA suggests that contestation with political structures at the national (Indian government) and global (WB) level is an important source of learning that leads to the construction of a movement's global citizenship. Through a Gramscian dialectical process of strategic action and reflection, the movement developed a critical awareness of the class character of these institutions, leading NBA to connect its local struggle against the dam to wider struggle against `destructive development and globalisation. This process encouraged a revalorisation of grassroots participants' subjective relationships to the nation-state, leading amongst some, to the rejection of national citizenship in favour of global affiliations. Articulation of global citizenship was based on a counter-hegemonic identification with struggles of the oppressed across the world, rather than a depoliticised 'moral universalism'. However, learning to extend global citizenship to challenging oppression embedded within movement communities is constrained in a context where unity against external oppressors is paramount. By examining the learning processes that led NBA to articulate and perform global citizenship in empowering ways, the thesis points to how grassroots movements are constructing GCS, and therefore contests their current marginalisation within GCS perspectives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available