Most studies of resistance to land dispossession have been case studies of positive instances of resistance, leaving aside instances of negative instances of acquiescence, and not looking comparatively across cases for broader patterns That’s what makes a recent paper by Michael Levien and Smriti Upadhyay of Johns Hopkins University so exciting. It’s entitled “Toward a Political Sociology of Dispossession: Explaining Opposition to Capital Projects in India,” and it appears in the latest issue of the journal Politics & Society. Using systematic data on more than 23,000 major capital projects across India between 2007 and 2015, Levien and Upadhyay identify key factors that determine whether a project is likely to generate resistance or not. Some of their results may surprise you.
Existing scholarship on the movement has either ignored the NWRO's antiwork perspective, or else insisted that the NWRO’s critiques of waged work were primarily gendered. Based on a careful analysis of the organization's archives, Wilson Sherwin makes a compelling case that an antiwork agenda was central to the NWRO's politics.